April 26, 2021
CALL TO ORDER
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on April 26, 2021, was called to order at 3:01 pm by Senate President Randy Dryer. As had been announced on the Senate website and by email, this meeting was held using the Zoom online meeting platform due to COVID-19 pandemic closure of the University campus. Attendance was confirmed by requiring Senate members (and invited guests and public attendees) to register in advance for the online meeting.
Present: Rohit Aggarwal, Sharon Aiken-Wisniewski, Soheila Amirsoleimani, Gloria Aquino, Amy Barrios, Michael Battistone, Matthew Bettini, Bryan Bonner, Robert Bowles, Simon Brewer, Kelly Bricker, Jonathan Brogaard, Kirsten Butcher, Juliet Carlisle, Mike Caserta, Adrienne Cataxinos, Owen Chan, Divya Chandrasekhar, Thomas Cheatham, Holden Cheney, Gerald Cochran, Hilary Coon, Sarah Creem-Regehr, Shanti Deemyad, Rachel Factor, Annette Fleckenstein, Candace Floyd, Leslie Francis, Sydney Gilliand, Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, Manu Goyal, Amos Guiora, Kim Hackford-Peer, Leslie Halpern, Andrew C. Harris, Sara Hart, Teresa Hebron, Bill Hesterly, Anna Hodgson, Christel Hohenegger, John Hollerbach, Harriet Hopf, Howard Horwitz, Christopher Hull, Bradley Hunter, Alexander Hyres, Luis Ibarra, Thunder Jalili, James Karner, R. James Keddington, Seth Keeton, Anne Kirchhoff, Matti Koenig, Keith Koper, Rich Landward, Titus Larrieu, Dale Larsen, Stephan LeBohec, John Lin, Kerry Lohmeier, Jack Longino, Gabriel Lozada, Brad Lundahl, Robin Marcus, Staci McIntosh, Katlin McLean, Christopher Mead, Rajesh Menon, Ed Muñoz, William Nesse, Kent Ono, Rick Paine, Adrian Palmer, Marcel Paret, Robert Parker, Jeff Pettey, Wanda Pillow, Tom Quinn, Taylor Randall, Angela Rasmussen, Georgi Rausch, Ofer Rog, Sonia Salari, Wesley Sasaki-Uemura, Xiaoming Sheng, Helene Shugart, Douglas Shumway, Momina Sial, Roger Silvers, Tim Smith, Brian Snapp, Taylor Sparks, Cynthia Stark, Ryan Steele, Elpitha Tsoutsounakis, Hunter Underhill, Brenda Van Der Wiel, Muskan Walia, Crystal Wallenius, Jess Wojciechowski, Julie Wright-Costa, Jaehee Yi, Jingyi Zhu, Susan Zickmund, Brandon Zielinski
Excused with substitute: Serena Aeschilman, Emi Radetich, Kathryn Stockton
Absent: Rima Ajlouni, Promothesh Chatterjee, Camilla Hodge, Connor Leeming, Lakshan Lingam, Krystal Moorman, Jon Rainier, Jeff Schwartz, Peyden Shelton, Kent Udell, Daniel Vargo, Neil Vickers, Robert Wood
Ex Officio: Randy Dryer, Julio Facelli, Robert Flores, Robert Fujinami, Michael Good, David Hill, Lisa Hutton, Paul Mogren, Christina Porucznik, Sarah Projansky, Daniel Reed, Bryce Williams, Jane Laird
Senate President Randy Dryer presented two resolutions to begin the meeting. He announced and read a Resolution in Honor of ASUU President Ephraim Kum. He thanked Ephraim on behalf of the Academic Senate for his outstanding service to students and the Senate during the 2020-21 academic year. A motion from Harriet Hopf to adopt the resolution honoring Ephraim Kum was approved by acclamation after a second from Sonia Salari.
Randy then offered a Resolution in Honor of Robert Flores. Bob Flores’ contribution to the Academic Senate and the development of university policies and the current regulations library were substantial; his presence will be missed upon his retirement after 32 years of service to the University. Bob responded that the greatest thing about his work at the University for three decades and for the Senate for the last 15 years is the people he was able to work with. He thanked Senate members, officers, administrators, and Senate Secretary Jane Laird as examples group of those he has had the privilege of working with. Amos Guiora moved to accept the Resolution in Honor of Bob Flores by acclamation and there were no objections.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes dated March 29, 2021, were approved upon a motion from Sonia Salari and a second by Katlin McLean.
REQUEST FOR NEW BUSINESS
There were no requests for new business.
Randy Dryer presented items that the Senate Executive Committee had placed on the Consent Calendar for this meeting. They were:
- Appendix I: Resignations, Administrative and Faculty Appointments
- Appendix II: Career-line, Adjunct and Visiting Faculty Appointments
- Appendix III: Emeritus Appointments
- Certificate in Professional and Technical Writing
- Certificate in Screen Performance
- Certificate in Music Entrepreneurship
- Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Management (GCCM)
- Graduate Certificate in Anatomical Health Sciences
- Master of Healthcare Management
Consent Calendar items were approved upon a motion from Christy Porucznik and a second from Sonia Salari.
SPECIAL ORDER- Annual Elections
Dale Larsen, Chair of the Senate Personnel and Elections Committee (SPEC), presented SPEC’s annual report, highlighting that the committee had coordinated faculty interest surveys and nominations for 144 committee vacancies on 26 University and Senate committees this year. He presented the list of newly elected Senators and Senate committee members who will begin their terms next fall, noting that vacancies remain on some of the Senate committees.
Senators were then advised that during this Senate meeting they will cast their vote using an online survey platform in the following elections: Senate President-elect; Senate Executive Committee 2021-2022 members; Senate Advisory Committee on University Strategic Planning (SACUSP) and SPEC members. The candidate for Senate President-elect, Sonia Salari, then spoke, introducing herself and explaining her interest in the position and her qualifications.
All voting-eligible Senators should have received a link to the Qualtrics election ballot. If any Senators had issues with the link or Qualtrics, they were asked to contact David Hill or Paul Mogren, the elections officials for this meeting, for assistance or to get a Word document version of the ballot. Voting was then opened for 30 minutes. (Note: Due to pandemic circumstances preventing the Senate from meeting in person, the Senate Executive Committee had authorized at its April 12, 2021, meeting a special exemption for the use of an electronic ballot in lieu of a paper ballot for this year’s elections).
REPORT FROM ADMINISTRATION
Interim President Michael Good reported that he had spent most of March working with then-President Watkins to ensure a smooth transition. He thanked University leaders for taking on extra duties to assist with that. He also thanked Senators and all faculty for their contributions during the past challenging year. A special note of appreciation went to those students who graduated this year after navigating the difficult pandemic conditions. He announced that Intermountain Health Care is making a large investment in the School of Medicine that will help expand the physician workforce in Utah. On-campus vaccinations will be available sometime in the next three to four weeks.
Student enrollment deposits for the fall term are at a record level, announced Senior Vice President Dan Reed. This is strong indicator that there will be a very large class next year. Other demographic information suggests that the incoming class will be the most diverse the University has experienced.
SENATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REPORT
The Senate Executive Committee (EC) met on April 12, 2021, and developed the agenda for this meeting, noted Senate President-elect Christy Porucznik. She also announced that the Senate Executive Committee had completed developing the membership of the Senate Task Force on Honorary Degrees, and the roster was posted on BoardDocs for review.
Christy presented a Resolution in Honor of Randy Dryer, Academic Senate President 2020-2021, citing his achievements of the past year, as well as from throughout his career as an advocate for the University of Utah. Randy expressed his gratitude and explained that he will be emailing Senate members later in the week with his thoughts about the Senate accomplishments during a challenging year. Bob Flores offered a motion to approve the Resolution, which was seconded by Sonia Salari. The motion passed by acclamation. Senate President Dryer’s letter to the Senate membership reflecting the work accomplished this year is found in the addendum of these minutes.
REPORT FROM ASUU
ASUU President Ephraim Kum announced that the student body had elected a new ASUU President for next year, Jessica Wojciechowski. After serving as ASUU President this past year, Ephraim expressed that he is going to miss working with the Senate and the incredible group of leaders at ASUU. He thanked Senate members and leaders for their valuable collaboration with ASUU. Jessica introduced herself and said that she is excited about working with the Senate this upcoming year.
INFORMATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS CALENDAR
Randy Dryer asked Senators to note the reports placed on the meeting’s Information and Recommendations Calendar. He also thanked Julio Facelli for chairing the inaugural year of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Strategic Planning.
- New Emphases to Atmospheric Sciences BS: Environmental Sciences, Professional Meteorology, Snow and Water Sciences
- Senate Advisory Committee on University Strategic Planning Draft Report
- UoU President’s BoT Report April 2021
NOTICE OF INTENT CALENDAR
There were no items for this meeting.
Division of Multi-Disciplinary Design-New Academic Unit
Cord Bowen, Director of the Multi-Disciplinary Design Program (MDD), and Keith Bartholomew, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, College of Architecture + Planning, reviewed the College’s reasons for proposing to transition the existing MDD program into a free-standing division. The program has grown–in number of students and faculty–from its inception seven years ago. It has had budget independence since that time, and the new organizational structure as a free-standing division, which for most purposes is the equivalent of an academic department, will make it easier to administer its unique offerings and support continuing program growth. Elpitha Tsoutsounakis moved to approve the MDD proposal. After a second from Divya Chandrasekhar, the motion passed.
Center for Health Ethics, Arts, and Humanities
A proposal for a new Center for Health Ethics, Arts, and Humanities (CHEAH) was presented by Gretchen Case, Chief of the Program in Medical Ethics and Humanities at the School of Medicine. Along with Wendy Hobson-Rohrer, Associate Vice President Health Sciences Education, she explained that this proposal represents an expansion of the 30-year-old Division/Program in Medical Ethics and Humanities. The vision is to become a resource and collaborator to the entire university. The proposers added that they are ready to comply with the proposed Policy & Rule 6-001UACI (regulations for the creation and continuance of centers and institutes–discussed later in the meeting’s agenda). The CHEAH proposal was approved after a motion from Kaitlin McLean and a second from Harriet Hopf.
Proposed University Enterprise Email Policy
Robert Payne, Office of General Counsel, reviewed a proposed new University Enterprise Email Policy 4-010 to address a Utah Board of Higher Education (formerly Board of Regents) rule, passed two years ago, that requires all University business email communications to be sent on university email systems (typically the utah.edu account), rather than through private/personal email accounts such as Gmail. Ken Pink, Deputy Chief Information Officer, and Dave Packham, Umail Manager, and Robert explained that a working group consulted with faculty, including the Senate Advisory Committee on IT (SACIT), to develop ways to mitigate impacts on faculty. Dave offered that part of this transition involves giving Umail users each a hundred gig mailbox to help researchers send/receive large attachments. There are other capacity workarounds, he explained, that can be solved by opening a help ticket to the email team. Dave relayed that the communications element of this transition is being handled by his office and users will get advance warnings and announcements soon. A motion to approve Policy 4-010, from Julio Facelli and seconded by Ryan Steele, passed with 1 opposed and 1 abstention.
UACI Report—Proposed Policy& Rule 6-001UACI
Andrea Rorrer, Chair of the Senate ad hoc Committee on University Academic Centers and Institutes (UACI–previously called the Centers, Institutes and Bureaus Committee #2 or CIB2), presented a proposal for revising Policy 6-001, and creating a new Rule 6-001UACI. UACI will later develop a draft Guidance Document. Together these Regulations will cover the creation and ongoing review of University Academic Centers and Institutes. She thanked the committee members through the years for their notable efforts and offered that the final Regulations and associated documents were developed through the efforts of Bob Flores, Senate Policy Liaison. Key goals included ensuring adequate faculty shared governance structures are in place and that created, and existing, academic centers and institutes have a consistent, robust approval and review procedure. The proposal includes establishing a new University Academic Centers and Institutes Coordinating Committee that would manage the processes of new unit creation and of subsequent seven-year reviews (which apply to existing units). This committee and new system procedures are intended to ensure transparent cross-institution consultation. However, the Regulations delineate exceptions that can be made to approval timelines and reviews of existing units to either facilitate timely approval or mitigate red-tape for those units that have been in operation for a long time—to be used as circumstances justify. Senator Leslie Francis said that she had reservations about how the coordinating committee was structured and would advise Andrea further so suggestions can be incorporated into the Guidance Document. Harriet Hopf’s motion to approve revising Policy 6-001 and creating a new Rule 6-001UACI passed after a second from Kaitlin McLean.
Reinvestment Committee Report and Recommendations
Randy Dryer went over some specific procedures for this presentation that the Senate Executive Committee (EC) had approved. The intent is to provide for a fair and open debate with input from as many Senators and guests as the schedule would allow. He explained that the EC forwarded a seconded motion to accept the report, approve the recommendations, and forward the report and recommendations to the Board of Trustees. After the report and question portion, speakers would get the opportunity to state their views for or against the motion, limited to one minute each. Senators would go first, then members of the University community, and then the other attendees if there is still time.
The Chair of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee for Divestment and Strategic Reinvestment Investigation, Allyson Mower, thanked the 16-member committee, which worked extremely hard and was a very collegial group. It had held 9 Town Halls, led by Danielle Endres, in order to gather input from the entire UofU community on a comprehensive array of issues. The final report was published on April 14 and publicly available on the committee’s webpage on the Senate website. The report was also included in this meeting’s materials on BoardDocs. After she reviewed the report and recommendations, Senators asked Allyson for extra information on how parameters and timelines of the report were established, how possible financial losses to other areas of the University (such as scholarship donors) were measured, and other report details.
Randy opened the floor for debate on the motion on the floor. About 27 Senators, university community members, and public attendees offered a variety of pros and cons for consideration. During the process, wide student support for the recommendations became apparent. Those expressing themselves against the recommendations felt that possible losses to other financial sources were not fully accounted for or that there were better ways to be sustainability-conscious investors than the options proposed. Thunder Jalili moved to end the debate and vote on the pending motion, seconded by Harriet Hopf. The motion passed with 1 opposed. The motion to accept the report, approve the recommendations, and forward the report and recommendations to the Board of Trustees was approved with 69 in favor, 22 opposed, and 3 abstaining.
SPECIAL ORDER – Annual Elections
Dale Larsen announced the in-meeting ballot results of those elected to the positions of 2021-2022 President-Elect and Senate Executive Committee Members.
Senate Leadership Electees AY 2021-2022
Sonia Salari (CSBS) Tenured
Senate Executive Committee*
Sharon Aiken-Wisniewski (Edu) CL
Thomas Cheatham (Pharm) TL
Shanti Deemyad (Science) TL
Amos Guiora (Law) CL
Sara Hart (Nursing) CL
Harriet Hopf (Med) TL
Howard Horowitz (Humanities) TL
Kerry Lohmeier (Libraries) TL
Brian Snapp (Fine Arts) TL
Taylor Sparks (Engineering) TL
Ryan Steele (Science) TL
Jaehee Yi (Social Work) TL
*The original announcement included the election of Kelly Bricker, who turned down the position due a change in circumstances. The first alternate candidate was Ryan Steele, who was then named to the position.
Tenille Brown and Kevin Hanson were confirmed for another term on the Senate Advisory Committee on University Strategic Planning (SACUSP). Dale Larsen (Libraries) and Xiaoming Sheng (Nursing) were also confirmed to serve a term on the Senate Personnel and Elections Committee.
There was no New Business for this meeting
Meeting adjourned at 6:20 pm.
Addendum: Letter from 2020-21 Senate President Randy Dryer
A final note of thanks and appreciation from your Zoom President
Dear Senate Colleagues:
Please forgive the length of this email, but I did not have a chance to say goodbye and express my thanks to all of you at our last meeting of the academic year.
This past year was undoubtedly a challenge for everyone at the University—students, staff, faculty and administrators as the pandemic became an intrusion that disrupted literally every aspect of our personal and professional lives. Not only did the pandemic necessitate an abrupt movement of classes online, it effectively killed the normal collegiality and support that comes from in-person interaction with one’s peers and colleagues. Similarly, the Academic Senate struggled to cope with the reality of how much more difficult it is for a 104-person legislative body to conduct its business on Zoom. Nonetheless, the Senate had a busy and substantively productive year, and you are all to be commended for making that happen. You were patient with me in running the meetings and with each other as you raised your digital hands and patiently waited for your turn to speak. Lest we focus too much on how difficult the journey was, let me remind everyone of just a few of the many significant actions the Senate took this past year. Actions that made people’s lives better by
- extending parental leave benefits to career-line faculty;
- granting certain needed protections to post-doctoral scholars;
- providing long overdue clarity to the process for the creation and regulation of University centers and institutes;
- approving dozens of new certificates that provide retraining opportunities to persons whose employment was disrupted by COVID;
- providing wise counsel on interim rules addressing Title IX and the individual conflict of interest policy;
- lending the Senate’s voice to various resolutions regarding student mental health, systemic racism and our democratic processes; and
- calling for a realignment of the University’s endowment to favor positive sustainable investments.
The Senate also thoughtfully tackled the serious and sensitive issue of how best to respect religious and cultural differences in the scheduling of Senate meetings, and launched an in-depth study of whether honorary degrees, which from time to time are a point of controversy, still retain a role in a modern university.
I am most proud of the meaningful role the Senate, the Executive Committee and the faculty-student Special COVID-19 Committee played in the shared decision-making surrounding how best to operate our University during the pandemic. Unlike many other universities across the country, our central administration was receptive to input from faculty, staff and students on temporary work adjustments, appropriate pandemic protocols, relaxation of RPT reviews, and reallocation of resources and support to aid both students and faculty in coping cope with an abrupt shift to online instruction. It was shared governance at its best!
I, for one, will always remember the past academic year for many reasons, not the least of which is how faculty, students and staff, individually and collectively, rose to the occasion and carried on with purpose, resolve and caring for one another. I jokingly lamented being the Zoom President, but It was my privilege to have worked with all of you, some of whom I have yet to meet in person! I hope the next academic year will return the Senate to a more “normal” look and feel, but we can all be proud of the job we did this past year.
While everyone deserves thanks for their respective contributions to a successful year, there are four individuals I would like to give a special shout out to as they were particularly helpful to me. First, I want to thank Past President Julio Facelli. He was a good role model for me to emulate and was a source of sound advice and good judgment throughout the year. In the end, he was always supportive, even when he disagreed with a decision I had made. Not once did he ever say “Well, that’s not how I would do it.” Second, I want to thank President-elect Christy Porucznik for her calm and thoughtful view that she brought to every decision that had to be made. She is unflappable, no matter how much heat there is in a decision or discussion. She was a calming influence on me and is going to be a terrific President. Third, I want to express my gratitude to a Senate Icon, Bob Flores. Bob and I go back a long way and it is safe to say we have different leadership styles and approaches. Bob’s attention to minute details and process was at times frustrating in terms of my dealing with an issue expeditiously, but he served the institution of the Senate well. His dedication and service to the Senate is without equal and he will be sorely missed upon his retirement in June. And, finally, I want to thank Jane Laird, the Senate Secretary and Operations Officer. Jane often operates behind the scenes, but is vital to the smooth operation of the Senate. Although I was occasionally too hands-on operationally from her perspective, she was always professional and worked tirelessly this year. She was the glue that held everything together and carried out her myriad responsibilities with great skill. She was overworked, but never once complained. I am happy to announce we have been able to secure some additional funding so that we can hire her an administrative assistant next year to reduce her workload.
Normalcy may never return to its pre-pandemic state, but we are headed in the right direction, at least in the state and at the University. My wish is for everyone to experience a summer of rejuvenation and reconnection with friends and colleagues. I know I am looking forward to the return of in-person hugs, high fives, laughter and good conversation over lunches and dinners.
Best regards and best wishes for next year and thank you for your service to the University. For those of you whose terms in the Senate have expired, I hope our paths cross again in another context in the future.
Randy L. Dryer, J.D.
Professor of Law (Lecturer)
Presidential Honors Professor
President, Academic Senate
College of Law, Rm. 3229
383 South University Street
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84112
(801) 403-5207 (mobile)