August 28, 2023
- CALL TO ORDER AND Announcements
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on August 28, 2023, was called to order at 3:00 pm by Senate President Shanti Deemyad. The meeting was held using the Zoom online meeting platform.
Present: Rohit Aggarwal, Andrew Anderson, Yoshimi Anzai, Ademuyiwa Aromolaran, Lillian Ault, Pinar Bayrak-Toydemir, Erin Beeghly, James Bekker, Adrian Bell, Melissa Bobick, Bryan Bonner, Kenneth Bromberg, Jen Brown, Timothy Brusseau, Sarah Bush, Robert Campbell, Marjorie Castle, Jon Chaika, Doug Christensen, Kevin Coe, Katharine Coles, Frank Drews, Nanette Dudley, Katie Durante, Atif Ellahie, Korkut Ertuk, Zhigang (Zak) Fang, Noreen Farley, Stacy Firth, Rick Forster, Julia Franklin, Gina Frey, Andrea Garcia, Jesse Graham, Lela Graybill, Eric Handman, Rachel Hayes-Harb, Kerry Herman, Tucker Hermans, Martin Horvath, Rory Hume, Jack Israelsen, Bryan Jones, Sarang Joshi, Youjeong Kang, Seijin Kim, Kai Kuck, Shelley Lawrence, Mark Loewen, Alysse Loomis, Janis Louie, ShawnaKim Lowey-Ball, Sarah Lucas, Stacy Manwaring, Nancy McLaughlin, Huong Meeks, Brent Milne, Meeyoung Min, Eugene Mishchenko, Anna Neatrour, Will Nesse, Curtis Newbold, Dave Norwood, Jack O’Leary, Yihui Pan, Patrick Panos, Kevin Perry, Susie Porter, Wayne Potts, Lynn Reinke, Lorie Richards, Alessandro Rigolon, Hollis Robbins, Carol Sansone, Naomi Schlesinger, Paul Shami, Chris Simon, Jamesina Simpson, Paula Smith, Ginger Smoak, Wayne Springer, Sondra Stegenga , Caroline Stephens, Casey Tak, Abigail Taylor, Maggie Tesch, Patrick Tripeny, Hannah Truax, David Turok, Jessica Van Der Volgen, Margaret Wan, Roseanne Warren, Peter West, Jaclyn Winter, Julie Wright-Costa, Zhou Yu, Kilo Zamora
Excused with substitute: Jensie Anderson, Luca Brunelli, Marc Calaf, Jay Jordan, Matt Tokson
Excused: Heather Holmes
Absent: Michael Abrahamson, Lourdes Alberto, Jack Fuetterer, William Holland, Feng Liu, Anna Roelofs, Nathan Seegert, Jim VanDerslice, Melodie Weller
Ex Officio: Mike Braak, Shanti Deemyad, Angie Fagerlin, Harriet Hopf, Savannah Manwill, Paul Mogren, Mitzi Montoya, Allyson Mower, Sarah Projansky, Taylor Randall, Sonia Salari, David Thomas, Jane Laird
Senate President Shanti Deemyad welcomed new and returning senators. She shared some history of the Academic Senate, its role in shared governance of the University of Utah, and the procedures for the online meeting format. President Taylor Randall will host the first Senate social of the year on September 25 at the President’s house; invitees are Senate members and Senate committee chairs [Update Note: the date of the social was subsequently changed to September 26]. Shanti announced that she was looking for faculty volunteers to serve as an alternate on the Senate Executive Committee this year and asked interested members to contact either the Senate Secretary or her.
Also available in the meeting materials for downloading and review were:
- Senate Member Photo Roster
- Senate Orientation Slides and Video Link
- Senate 2023-2024 Meeting Schedule
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes dated May 1,2023, were approved upon a motion from Harriet Hopf and a second from Dave Norwood. There were two abstentions.
- REQUEST FOR NEW BUSINESS
Paul Shami raised the health and safety issues presented by students using 3D Printers in dormitories. He was not sure if the University had guidelines on this, but that the fumes from these devices are toxic, and they should be used only in well-ventilated areas. Senate President Deemyad announced then that further discussion will occur during the New Business part of the agenda.
- CONSENT CALENDAR
Senate President Deemyad identified the items on the meeting’s Consent Calendar:
- SACUSP 2023-24 New Member Appointments
- Faculty Appointments Report
All items on the Consent Calendar were approved after a motion from Sonia Salari and a second from Kate Coles.
- SPECIAL ORDER – Annual Appointments for Senate Leadership – Parliamentarian and Policy Liaison
Pursuant to Policy 6-0023-42, two Senate officers are annually appointed by the Senate President, subject to Senate approval. Shanti Deemyad offered her nominations for the 2023-2024 academic year: Paul Mogren as Parliamentarian and Allyson Mower as Senate Policy Liaison. Kate Coles moved that both nominations be approved. After a second from Sonia Salari, the motion passed.
- REPORTS (ADMINISTRATION; EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE; ASUU)
Report from Administration
President Taylor Randall expressed sincere appreciation for the those attending and participating as a Senate member this year. He announced the fall census identified that total enrollment is now over 35,000 students, with at least 5,000 of those in the first-year class. The administration will be beginning the strategic planning process in January 2024 because the current 5-year plan is ending for both the main campus and health sciences. Campus master planning management is moving from the of Construction and Design Department to the Real Estate Division and being renamed Physical Enterprise Planning to better reflect the scale, scope, and location of this part of the planning process.
SVP Mitzi Montoya added that Kieth Diaz Moore has been appointed to help with the physical enterprise planning and design management part of the strategic planning process. A search for a new Dean of Engineering has started. Montoya added that all deans will be working on clarifying workload policy around teaching, research, and service in their respective units. In response to a Senator question, SVP Montoya and President Randall noted that physical enterprise planning will also include the University Asia Campus (UAC). The President will be traveling to UAC this fall, along with a delegation from the state government.
Executive Committee Report
Senate President-elect Harriet Hopf reviewed the purpose of the regular Senate Executive Committee (EC) Senate meeting reports and outlined the items added to the August 28th Senate meeting agenda. She added that there were no urgent matters over the summer that required the immediate action, which is termed summer recess authority, of the EC on behalf of the full Senate. Harriet also listed the new members of the University Academic Centers and Institutes (UCAI) coordinating committee that had been affirmed by the standing UCAI members and the EC before being appointed by University President Taylor Randall.
Report from ASUU
ASUU President Jack O’Leary presented ASUU activity updates including the progress in filling vacancies in the branches of student government and planning events and meetings with campus partners. ASUU leadership will be promoting its vision for the academic year under three concepts: accessibility, affordability, and acceptance. Other efforts will include revitalizing the programming division, working with representatives of the graduate student council, suggesting revisions to the Student Code, and establishing new financial and travel guidelines for students and student organizations. Sierra Canela is the newly hired Director of Student Governance and Leadership.
- Intent Calendar
There were no items for the Intent Calendar
- DEBATE CALENDAR
Robotics Curriculum Proposals
Mark Minor, Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Curriculum Committee, introduced an interdisciplinary program to meet demands from students and industry for experience and specific credentials in robotics. It will be hosted in the College of Engineering and combine expertise and resources from the School of Computing, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, and the Mechanical Engineering Department. A technical grant from the State of Utah Deep Tech Program will support a director, student advisor, lab hardware, and recruiting expenses. The program is the first of its kind in the Western United States and competes with similar robotics programs at top rated engineering institutions. Mark explained the background of the development of the program and gave an overview of the credits required for the new proposed degrees and certificates:
- Minor: Robotics (Interdisciplinary)
- Graduate Certificate: Robotics
iii. Undergraduate Certificate: Robotics
- Degree: Robotics PhD (Interdisciplinary)
- Degree: Robotics MS (Interdisciplinary)
Some senators had submitted concerns prior to the meeting presentation about the absence of the mention of ethics in the proposal, and those were echoed by other senators during the meeting. Some contributory issues about this omission included mounting concerns about artificial intelligence and machine learning in the areas such as autonomous vehicles, inadequate training data leading to discrimination, societal impact of the increasing use of robotics, and others.
Senator Tucker Hermans from Engineering distinguished which types of ethical considerations are considered in data science and artificial intelligence, and clarified that ethics is and has been a component of embedded curriculum design and learning outcomes in the existing individual courses identified in the proposals. Tucker and Senator Paula Smith also explained that compartmentalization of ethics into a singular course (or courses) within a discipline has been proven to be less effective than when ethics learning outcomes are integrated throughout the program. The proposals under review also do not represent a change in the content of the degree(s), but rather a shift to an emphasis to a dedicated robotics degree in name. Senator Stacy Firth further elaborated on how ethics is addressed in the engineering field, and how these outcomes, which are required, are addressed in accreditation boards. Mark agreed that it would best to include ethics as a learning outcome, and it should be specifically stated, especially for the graduate programming. Jack O’Leary’s motion to approve all proposals submitted as a package passed after a second from Paul Shami. The vote announced by the Senate Parliamentarian was 55 approve, 22 oppose, and 7 abstain. Senate President Deemyad commented that given the vote distribution, the proposers might need to consider addressing Senate concerns by updating the program language as discussed.
Name Change: Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Management
Harriet Hopf, representing the current Department of Anesthesiology, reviewed the history of the name change proposal and the significance of including the phrase Perioperative and Pain Management in the new title versus the current title of Department of Anesthesiology. This proposal has been delayed since 2019 when it was initially approved by the School of Medicine (SOM) Dean, the SOM College Council, and the department faculty. The delay was a result of administrative priority issues during the COVID pandemic period. A motion to approve the name change, offered by Rory Hume, was approved after a second from Paul Shami.
- INFORMATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS CALENDAR
Special Guest: Julie Hartley, USHE Associate Commissioner
USHE Associate Commissioner Julie Hartley presented an overview of the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) and the Board of Higher Education (BHE), as well as some updates on impactful legislative topics. Julie noted that the BHE members are appointed by the governor, and that it has undergone several structural changes in the last few years. The current BHE is composed of 8 members plus one student member. It interprets and clarifies state law governing higher education, including the responsibilities of a research institutions, the hiring and firing of institution presidents in consultation with the boards of trustees, and setting policy impacting topics including Title IX provisions, degree structures, and guidelines for institutions. Recent advocacy efforts for adding a faculty member to the Board were unsuccessful. BHE membership structures are ultimately decided by the legislature, so strengthening student, staff, and faculty representation is limited to pursuing that avenue of redress. Julie advised that she is in regular communication with the Utah Council of Faculty Senate Leaders (UCFSL), the Professional Staff Association, and other stakeholders.
Senator David Turok, echoing other senators’ comments, remarked on the challenges presented by political forces in the current climate, such as questioning EDI efforts, and the impact that this will have on attracting students and economically beneficial partners. He advocated for economic arguments against policies that would do potential long-run harm. Julie encouraged faculty, staff, and students to use their voices as Utah governance constituents, encouraging them to contact their representatives and participate in party caucuses.
G1-001B Shared Governance and University Regulations
Allyson Hicks and Allyson Mower discussed the term academic significance as it relates to shared governance actions at the University and presented Guideline G1-001B, an in-depth explanation of how to determine policy changes fall into that category. The Guideline supports the decisions and operations of the Senate Executive Committee (EC) and Senate because the Academic Senate is charged with voting on policy changes that “directly or significantly affects the carrying out of the University’s academic missions.” They encouraged Senate feedback on the clarifications presented to make sure the language is what is needed for helpful reference.
Rule 5-305A: Scope, Eligibility, and Limitations for Reduced Tuition Programs
Director of Benefits Wendy Poppleton updated the Senate on a benefit policy revision, Rule 5-305A: Scope, Eligibility, and Limitations for Reduced Tuition Programs. It is being amended to clarify that the reduced tuition benefit for eligible employees for undergraduate base tuition, graduate base tuition, and differential tuition on undergraduate courses applies to all employees. The current graduate differential tuition benefit, which includes covering graduate differential tuition costs, will expire after the Summer 2023 term. The eligibility requirement that an employee’s child be unmarried is now removed. In response to senator questions, she clarified the benefit timeline and application process. Wendy also offered to stay in the meeting to address individual’s specific questions in the chat area of the Zoom meeting.
UOnline Updates-PeopleSoft Designation
Deborah Keyek-Franson, AVP for University Connected Learning, reported that some older online graduate programs have now been designated as UOnline programs in PeopleSoft. Undergraduate online programs and newer graduate programs have this designation already, and this update will help accurate enrollment accounting and solve associated communication issues. The impacts are largely operational and financial, such as eliminating campus fees for students in those designated programs. The overall revenue share will be favorable toward departments; the school or college receives 70%, an increase to the traditional redistribution. Deborah will address Zhou Yu’s request to improve communication about how students in online courses are displayed in mixed section courses.
2023 Q2 completion report
Dean of Undergraduate Studies Chase Hagood presented a slide set that summarized the AY 2023 second quarter Persistence and Completion Report that his office had compiled. It included the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on the 6-year completion rate of recent cohorts. Senator Will Nesse asked about the student experience with first math courses. The UofU had moved from test-based placement to self-placement a few years ago. Because this led to a sizable shift in enrollment towards higher-level classes, it has presented some challenges. Hagood responded by sharing details about the Academic Recovery Project and efforts to address preparation through advising and summer programming. He then asked Senate members to send him their individual concerns so that his office can follow up.
Information and Reports
Senate President Deemyad presented the following informational reports to the Senate for review:
- Appointment of Senate Standing Committee Chairs 2023-2024
- Policy 3-110: Lease or Rental of Property for University Use
- Rule 3-030 International Travel Safety and Insurance
- New Emphasis: Economics BA/BS Law and Economics
- New Emphasis: MPH Health Equity
- College of Health Charter
- David Eccles School of Business Charter
- Graduate Council Seven-Year Reviews
World Languages & Cultures
Department of Communication
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling
- Herriman Campus Open House
- UACI Annual Report
- University Teaching Committee 2022-23 Report
- SCAFFR 2022-2023 Report
- UofU President’s Report to Board of Trustees August 2023
- Senate Report to Board of Trustees Report August 2023
- NEW BUSINESS
Senate President Deemyad continued a discussion on the safety issue Paul Shami brought up about allowing 3D printers inside the dormitories. Harriet Hopf offered to contact both the Environmental Health and Safety and Housing and Residential Education offices, and include Senator Shami on the communications, to review appropriate policies and initially address the issue with that approach.
- OPEN DISCUSSION
There was no Open Discussion at this meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 5:43 pm.