August 27, 2018
Call to Order
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on August 27, 2018, was called to order at 3:09 pm by Senate President Thomas Richmond. The meeting was held in the Moot Courtroom of the College of Law.
Present: Rima Ajlouni, Michael Larice, Elena Asparouhova, Shmuel Baruch, Bryan Bonner, Brian Cadman, Wanda Pillow, Thomas Swensen, James Winkler, Kirsten Butcher, John Funk, Lauren Liang, Rajeev Balasubramonian, Chuck Dorval, Hanseup Kim, Ken Monson, Angela Rasmussen, Frank Sachse, James Sutherland, Carol Sogard, Brenda Van Der Wiel, Julie Wright-Costa, Jim Martin, Susan Naidu, Nelson Roy, Alex Terrill, Katharine Coles, Patricia Hanna, Anne Lair, Maureen Mathison, Helene Shugart, Dustin Stokes, Randy Dryer, Leslie Francis, Tom Lund, Dale Larsen, Brandon Patterson, Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer, Pinar Bayrak-Toydemir, Nadia Cobb, Ravi Ranjan, Candace Floyd, Mia Hashibe, Christopher Hull, Anne Kirchhoff, Amnon Schlegel, Debra Simmons, Tom Winter, Ravi Chandran, Diego Fernandez, Jessica Wempen, Mike Caserta, Sara Simonsen, Amy Barrios, Donald Blumenthal, Krystal Moorman, Sarah Bush, Tommaso De Fernex, Christel Hohenegger, Stephane LeBohec, Dragan Milicic, Jon Rainier, Nil Vickers, Gunseli Berik, Sheila Crowell, Korkut Erturk, Kim Korinek, Sharon Mastracci, Kathleen Nicoll, Rick Paine, Brad Lundahl, Joanne Yaffe, Taylor Stringham, Valerie Guerrero, Haley Feten, Kaelin Kaczka, Amanda Goodner, Elizabeth Pohl, Claire McGuire, Emily Kam, Lauren Perry, Alan Abbinanti, Kaitlin McLean, Devon Cantwell, Alejandra Sanchez, Kaden Madson, Connor Morgan, Aryana Vadipour
Absent: Bob Allen, Nitin Bakshi, Cathleen Power, Olga Baker, Mark Durham, John Regehr, Laurel Caryn, Winston Kyan, Sean Lawson, Per Gesteland, Ken Johnson, Kalani Raphael, Brad Rockwell, Susanna Cohen, Rich Landward, Taryn Young
Ex Officio: Tom Richmond, Robert Flores, Margaret Clayton, Michael Good, Paul A. Mogren, Julio Facelli, Ruth V. Watkins, Daniel Reed, Bob Fujinami, Harriet Hopf, Emily Beard
Excused with proxy: Jon Seger, Thomas Crane Giamo, Emily Thomas, Howie Huynh, Pearl Sandick, Ann Engar
Excused: Darryl Butt, Sylvia Torti, Kenneth (Bo) Foreman, Gema Guevara, Eric Hinderaker, Joel Brownstein, Jennifer Shumaker-Parry, Adrienne Cachelin, John Boyack, Zhou Yu
Approval of Minutes:
The minutes dated April 30, 2018 were approved with a motion from Randy Dryer and a second from Joanne Yaffe.
The Consent Calendar dated August 14, 2018 was approved with a motion from Pat Hanna and a second from Joanne Yaffe.
Special Order: Annual Appointments for Senate Leadership
A motion from Kathleen Nicoll, and seconded by Katherine Coles, to approve the appointments of Robert Flores, to Senate Policy Liaison, and Paul Mogren, to Senate Parliamentarian, was passed unanimously.
Executive Committee Report
Julio Facelli asked the Academic Senate Executive Committee members to stand up as a way of recognition, and gave the required report of the summer-recess activities of the Executive Committee, which met three times. Items approved by the Executive Committee acting on behalf of the Senate during the Senate’s summer recess, as these were time-sensitive, included (i) the Civil Engineering BS degree offered at the Asia campus, (ii) the College of Health Minor in Occupational Health & Safety, (iii) the College of Business Minor in Advanced Financial Analysis, and (iv) a change of College of Business program name from “Operations Management” to “Operations and Supply Chain.” These items and copies of the materials were included on today’s Information and Recommendations Calendar. Because no call was made for any Senate reconsideration of these substantive decisions reported on today, the summer-recess decisions now stand as final per Policy 6-002.
Request for New Business
No new business
Report from Administration:
President Ruth Watkins welcomed the Senate to the new academic year, and expressed gratitude for Senators’ willingness to participate in the University’s shared governance in the upcoming year. Highlighting the impressive growth phase of the University was a discussion of the qualities of incoming faculty and students. New buildings, such as Gardner Commons and the Garff Executive Education Building, also reflect growth. In addition, she introduced new leaders present, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Daniel Reed and Senior Vice President of Health Sciences Michael Good. She added that Mark Harlan is the new Athletics Director; the administration thanks the faculty for their help in working around the inconvenience of weekday football games, of which there will be two this year. She invited SVP Michael Good to say a few words.
SVP Good expressed how happy he was to be at the meeting and the University, and echoed the President by saying the University is on a great trajectory. He looks forward to doing his part to make sure that faculty is very successful at the University, as faculty are the life blood of the University. He supports shared governance, and believes that true innovations often happen at the interfaces of disciplines, and by uncommon combinations.
Report from ASUU
Connor Morgan gave an update on the summer activities of ASUU. His election platform was to return ASUU to the status as a student government, and during the summer they have focused on making sure upcoming ASUU programs are purposeful and intentional. He and the ASUU worked on outreach throughout the university community and beyond, to become better student advocates, and on meeting summer timelines. They want to insure a more proactive approach to concerns that arise. There are two initiatives for this year. One is campus safety, specifically focusing on sexual assault prevention. The other program is voter registration, seeing as how low turnout is for students and young people. He mentioned that an ESPN analyst noted that the MUSS was one of the top student sections in the country. The ASUU will also be active participants in the upcoming discussion on the how students should be involved in the RPT process.
Notice of Intent
Rule 5-200A Staff Parental Leave Benefit
Chief Human Resource Officer, Jeff Herring, and Cathy Anderson, Assoc. VP for Budget & Planning, presented an overview of a proposed policy to grant paid parental leave as a benefit to University staff, which the Senate will see on the debate calendar at its next meeting. This has been presented to the staff council and the council of academic deans, stakeholders, the Senate Executive committee, and the President’s cabinet. As background, paid parental leave is being discussed around the country, and other PAC 12 peer institutions have implemented it. At the U, outside the School of Medicine, there is currently a paid parental leave benefit for tenure-line faculty, which provides up to 95% salary [and in Medicine a different level benefit for both tenure- and career-line faculty].
The policy proposed is a paid parental leave benefit, and is for staff other than the hospitals and clinics staff. FMLA already allows staff to take family and medical leave when certain criteria are met, but this federal regulation is not for a paid leave. It can be a hardship to meet the financial gap. The proposal is to provide 50% pay for up to six weeks, which translates into three weeks of full-time pay, and will be offered if an employee meets certain criteria also.
To estimate financial impact, data from three calendar years—2015, 2016, and 2017—was analyzed (for all parts of campus except hospitals and clinics). The average number of parental leaves was 177 per year. The average cost, using the 50% of six weeks pay (3 weeks full pay) was $3,500 per usage. To address one of the concerns brought up at the August Senate Executive Committee, the data was also analyzed specifically for research areas due to some specific challenges there. For the same three-year look back period, the average was 22 per year, and the associated costs averaged $3, 561.
Vice President for Research Andrew Weyrich joined the presenters to address issues concerning grant expenses. Uniform guidance and a review of best practices indicate that parental leaved is allowed as a direct expense on grants and can be included as an employee fringe benefit cost to a grant. This type of charge needs to reasonably represent the person’s FTE time allotted to the grant. The NIH indicates this is an allowable direct expense to grants.
Jeff Herring reiterated that this proposal has a goal of extending the paid part of the leave benefit to staff (as FMLA already grants the leave without pay), who are a critical part of the academy. After the benefit is in place, the office will continue to measure the usage, and work with all colleges, schools and departments to make sure the financial aspect is sustainable for the future.
Questions were raised about financial burden. Cathy Anderson explained that the University-wide employee benefit fringe rate is not expected to change at this time. The current system charges actual benefits to grants-and not as an overhead charge. To address James Sutherland’s idea of centralizing the benefit cost for this parental leave, and thus reducing overall individual risk in a cooperative effort–so that the current form of rollout does not hit individual PIs and departments unduly–she explained that the current intent is to put this benefit in place and identify over the next year or two how the funding is flowing, what dollar amounts are paid out, see how that is absorbed. For this rollout, in the case of financial burden, first the College, than the appropriate SVP would be consulted. She anticipates that the overall cost will be a small amount given the current analysis.
Senate Task Force-Student Input in RPT (Policy 6-303)
AVP Harriet Hopf presented background on this request for the Senate to authorize the Executive Committee to form an Academic Senate task force (technically a “special committee” of the Senate per Policy 6-002) on student input into the RPT process. Earlier this year, the OEO/AA office indicated concerns about what was then the current practice of student groups in the RPT process, as it had a disparate impact on underrepresented faculty. The Senior Vice Presidents then had a discussion with stakeholders, including the ASUU and the Academic Senate, and they developed an interim process that does not allow student committees to vote, but does ensure robust student input into the RPT process. On April 23rd, this was formally approved by President of Watkins as a temporary exception to the existing Policy, with details of the interim process described in a memo. On the SVP Academic Affairs webpage there are now links to videos for specialized student training for unconscious bias, a link to guidelines on how to do a review, and a link to the report that the students now fill out. It is similar to the older version of the report, except there is not a vote, but a request for constructive feedback. The Departmental RPT Advisory Committee (DAC/ RPT) report generated by the faculty committee must include the summary of what the student committee reported, especially serious concerns. At this time, post-report surveys are sent to the students involved so to determine if the new processes and the training reduces decision bias.
The purpose of the task force she is proposing would be to revise policies 6-303 to change the SAC role in RPT in order to respond to the OEO concerns, while also ensuring ongoing robust student input is addressed in the RPT process. The timeline goal is approving the new policy by January 2019 and thus avoid staying on the interim process for another year. Other goals include addressing questions posed by the Senate in this meeting, and include a broad representation from the SAC, GSAC, ASUU, Senate Faculty Review Standards Committee, the course evaluation committee (Senate Advisory Committee on Student Course Feedback), Deans, and the Senate Executive Committee. AVP Hopf recommends two chairs, a student and a faculty member, to run the process. Motion was made by Randy Dryer to authorize the creation of a task force as outlined, with broad representation, and that the Senate Executive Committee approve the specific membership. Seconded by Pat Hanna. Motion passed unanimously.
Senate Task Force-Career-Line Faculty Parental Leave Benefit
AVP Hopf explained that an earlier Senate Career-Line Task Force in its final report specifically suggested that career-line faculty should be eligible for faculty parental benefits and that there should be a task force to develop a proposal for faculty parental benefits policy or policies applicable for full time career-line faculty members. The proposal is for the Senate to authorize the Executive Committee to convene such a task force (“special committee” of the Senate) to study the potential academic, budgetary, equity and individual, and other, considerations. A relatively broad representation is important, so would include both tenure line and career line faculty from across the university. Also, it could include members from the SOM where there is a career-line benefit policy, and some members of the original task force
In response to questions and comments from the floor, she added that it is not clear how this policy proposal will eventually look, and may include more than one type of policy. Career-line faculty situations are complicated by this group’s varied roles and sources of income. The goal is that everybody has a parental leave policy that fits with their model of work. Motion by Pat Hanna, and seconded by Joanne Yaffe, to create a Senate task force to develop a proposal for a full time career-line faculty parental leave benefit passed unanimously. A clarification from Bob Flores was entered that the motion implied that the Senate Executive Committee populate and specifically charge the task force.
Information and Recommendations Calendar
- Senate President Tom Richmond announced the names of the Chairs of the Senate standing committees for this 2018-2019 academic year.
- New Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Daniel Reed introduced himself to the Senate, and noted that metrics–such as research & scholarship, graduation rates, student success, philanthropy, and research funding–indicate that the University is on a dramatic upward trajectory. His topic was “One Utah,” and in the vein of Imagine U, outlined some of the themes, challenges, and operational ideas for Academic Affairs, and the University as one campus, in the coming year. They included: complexity and interdependence; humility, asking questions, and rebuilding an ontology of shared discourse; consilience and shared commitment; collaborative Renaissance teams of diverse expertise. The interesting questions are ones that lie at the intersection of disciplines, and his office will be looking at ways to encourage diverse conversations about building bridges across these junctures. In addition to some ideas of fostering venues where insights can be shared, he asked the faculty to look for solicitations for faculty fellows to spend some time in the SVP Academics Affairs office, both as faculty working on projects related to these ideas and as faculty liaison. Other conversations his office would like to engender begin with some questions about the University’s future. What is involved with growing the student body? What does that look like, and what capacities exist to support that, and where there are gaps. How does the University prepare students for careers? How can the University build a lifelong compact with its students, supporting them beyond the early student years? He is excited about the possibilities.
- Mary Parker, AVP Enrollment Management, offered an Enrollment Strategy and Misconceptions presentation to update the Senate of the enrollment, recruitment and retention efforts and programs the office is doing. The process begins with a comprehensive recruitment plan, including an expanding outreach for in-state and out-of-state students, guidance counselors, and parents. The office has found that financial aid can often impact enrollment for some students, and also impact student’s ability to stay in school. The office does everything possible to develop am individualized financial aid package that will help students stay in school. The Office of Orientation and Transition is constantly improving its activities and outreach to meet the students’ and parents’ needs. Currently it is offering expanded transition services post-orientation. New enrollment strategies include: examining the structure of all student-facing services to assure the tightest alignment between those services, the academic mission, and student engagement; promoting organizational and operational efficiencies and best practices to further internal effectiveness; looking at alternatives for financing college such as ISA and the leveraging of institutional, state and federal dollars.
- An update to Senate Task Force on Career-Line Eligibility for AS Presidency (a “special committee” of the Senate) was given by Mardie Clayton, Academic Senate Past-President. The Senate authorized formation of the committee last spring. Over the summer, the Senate Executive Committee began populating and clarifying the specific charge for it. The charge is very specific: to consider career line faculty eligibility for Senate president. The task forces hopes to submit a recommendation before Christmas and hopes that by October the composition of this task force will be settled. The members represent six former past Senate presidents, as well as career-line faculty, outreach persons such as representative from the Ombudsman Office and members of the earlier career-line taskforce.
- Lauren Clark presented information about the University of Utah Ombudsmen Office. With a purpose of informing the Senators of the resources offered to faculty and others, she reviewed operating principles, locations, ombudpersons’ names and contact numbers, what ombuds will or will not do. The Academic Senate helped create the Ombudsman Office around 2012-13, as the then grievance procedure needed overhauling, especially for career-line faculty. The office has created a safe space and a resource clearinghouse, with a goal to offer informal resolution as alternative to formal grievance complaints.
- The seven-year Graduate Council review report of the Art & Art History department was summarized by Katie Ullman, who also offered new Senators general information about the seven-year review process and the review reports that will come to floor this year. The Art & Art History department received commendations from internal and external reviewers about faculty and the contribution the department makes to the campus. Some notable challenges are needed resources and facilities, and developing more proactive ways to recruit.
- The materials from the Summer actions of the Senate Executive Committee were accepted without discussion (Civil and Environmental Engineering BS for U Asia; College of Education college charter; School for Cultural and Social Transformation provisional college charter; College of Business minor and emphasis in Advanced Financial Analysis, program name change; College of Health minor in OSH)
- The President’s Reports for May, June, and July 2018 were accepted with no objections
Meeting adjourned at 4:59 pm.