August 31, 2020

Aug 31 2020
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Meeting Minutes



August 31, 2020


The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on August 31, 2020, 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, Rima Ajlouni, Soheila Amirsoleimani, Amy Barrios, Michael Battistone, Matthew Bettini, Bryan Bonner, Robert Bowles, Simon Brewer, Kelly Bricker, Jonathan Brogaard, Kirsten Butcher, Juliet Carlisle, Mike Caserta, Owen Chan, Tiffany Chan, Promothesh Chatterjee, Thomas Cheatham, Gerald Cochran, Hilary Coon, Sarah Creem-Regehr, Shanti Deemyad, James Ehlers, Rachel Factor, Annette Fleckenstein, Leslie Francis, Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, Manu Goyal, Amos Guiora, Kim Hackford-Peer, Leslie Halpern, Andrew C. Harris, Sara Hart, Teresa Hebron, Bill Hesterly, Camilla Hodge, Anna Hodgson, Christel Hohenegger, John Hollerbach, Harriet Hopf, Howard Horwitz, Alexander Hyres, Luis Ibarra, Matthew Irwin, Thunder Jalili, James Karner, R. James Keddington, Seth Keeton, Anne Kirchhoff, Keith Koper, Ephraim Kum, Seodam Kwak, Tuyet Lien Lam, Rich Landward, Dale Larsen, John Lin, Kerry Lohmeier, Jack Longino, Gabriel Lozada, Brad Lundahl, Robin Marcus, Staci McIntosh, Kaitlin McLean, Christopher Mead, Rajesh Menon, Ed Muñoz, Kent Ono, Rick Paine, Adrian Palmer, Marcel Paret, Robert Parker, Jeff Pettey, Wanda Pillow, Tom Quinn, Jon Rainier, Taylor Randall, Angela Rasmussen, Georgi Rausch, Ofer Rog, Sonia Salari, Wesley Sasaki-Uemura, Jeff Schwartz, Peyden Shelton, Xiaoming Sheng, Helene Shugart, Doug Shumway, Tim Smith, Brian Snapp, Taylor Sparks, Cynthia Stark, Ryan Steele, Kathryn Stockton, Elpitha Tsoutsounakis, Kent Udell, Madison Ulibarri, Hunter Underhill, Brenda Van Der Wiel, Daniel Vargo, Maeve Wall, Crystal Wallenius, Jessica Wojciechowski, Julie Wright-Costa, Jaehee Yi, Jingyi Zhu, Susan Zickmund, Brandon Zielinski, Zack Brave, Divyam Goel

Excused with substitute: Divya Chandrasekhar


Absent: Christopher Hull, Connor Leeming, Susannah Mecham, Krystal Moorman, William Nesse, Tressa Parkes, Roger Silvers, Audrey Stegman, Maria Velasco, 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, Ruth Watkins, Bryce Williams, Jane Laird

Others: Jim Hensler, Senate Special Projects Manager


The minutes dated April 27, 2020 were approved upon a motion from Amos Guiora and a second by Sonia Salari.



On the New Business agenda was a memo from Senator Howard Horwitz about registration and transparency issues encountered with the current online course offerings. No other new business items were forwarded by Senate members.



Due to the special circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate Executive Committee had approved at its August 17th  meeting placing some agenda items, which would usually be on the Senate Debate Calendar for a vote, to instead be presented on the Senate Consent Calendar. These items would be those that did not appear to be controversial, nor have any procedural or content issues. For this Senate meeting, the following proposal was offered on the Consent Calendar: Software Development Systems Data Graduate Certificate Proposal.


Also on the Consent Calendar were the Faculty Matters reports. Julio Facelli moved to approve all items on the Consent Calendar. After a second by Harriet Hopf, the motion passed with one opposed.


SPECIAL ORDER: Annual Appointments for Senate Leadership

A motion from Mike Caserta, seconded by Amos Guiora, to approve the appointments of Robert Flores, to Senate Policy Liaison, and Paul Mogren, to Senate Parliamentarian, was passed unanimously.



President Watkins explained that, when managing the start of the Fall 2020 term and looking at the year ahead, the goal is to be the University that handles this difficult situation as right as possible. Everyone attending the Senate meeting was thanked for being a part of campus leadership and instrumental in attaining this goal. The pandemic is affecting the campus and the larger national context. Citizens across the country, along with the UofU community, are faced with systemic racism and its impacts on health disparities and other issues of social justice. The University has committed to making this issue another top priority.


The definitive place for COVID-19 information at the University is; its comprehensive resources include updates, instructions, forms—such as the self-reporting form–, and hotline numbers. The President expressed appreciation to the many instructors, students, and staff that she has seen, since the start of the term, following the pandemic safety guidelines, such as physical distancing and use of masks.


As the University’s academic areas adapted to changing conditions throughout the summer, decisions were, and will be, guided by three priorities, recounted SVP Daniel Reid. The first is to preserve some first year in-person experiences; the second is to manage experiential education safely; the third is to make sure students continue to graduate. For the Fall 2020 term, about 21% of classes will be conducted in-person. The University had dispersed CARES funding of about $8.3 million to students so far. This is helping promote affordability, along with fee reductions, a tuition freeze, and emergency student aid. His office will be circulating and posting, on the site, a flow chart for faculty to consult if one of their students must quarantine.


VP of Student Affairs Lori McDonald commended the student housing staff and facilities staff for successfully opening the residence halls with heighted health protocols. Just over 3,200 students moved to on-campus housing and all were asymptomatic tested. 407 rooms have been reserved for any necessary quarantine situations, and those isolated are supported with custom meal delivery and staff assistance. She also thanked ASUU leaders for their impactful efforts to initiate and support peer-to-peer campaigns that amplify public health messages.


SVP Michael Good gave a pandemic status update. In sum, corona virus metrics were currently stable in the surrounding communities. He encouraged community members to use the self-reporting tool on the website to keep track of the virus on campus. He asked Richard Orlandi, MD, and Sharon Talboys, Professor from the UofU Division of Public Health, to discuss the symptomatic and asymptomatic testing now happening at the U. Richard reviewed the four domains of student testing: student housing-residents tested at move-in; symptomatic testing, contract tracing testing, asymptomatic surveillance. This last item will be implemented in the near future.


Sharon Talboys explained that one tool in successfully keeping campus open is contact tracing. She is the key contact at the UofU for when local health departments pass on confirmed case information. Her contact tracing teams also depend upon self-reporting and results of campus student testing. Contact tracing is crucial in shortening the time between positive tests and isolation due to exposure, which cuts down the chances of the virus spreading further.



Senate President-elect Christy Porucznik reported on the summer recess authority actions of Senate Executive Committee (EC). She explained that the following items had been approved by the EC acting on behalf of the Senate (subject to any Senator asking to recall a proposal for discussion and possible Senate reconsideration—which did not occur):

  • Appointment of Senate standing committee chairs 2020-2021
  • Department of Health, Kinesiology & Recreation — restructure
  • Center for Research on Migration & Refugee Integration – changed administrative reporting structure.
  • Combined BS/MEd in Secondary Level Science Teaching
  • Certificate in Community Engagement – new undergraduate certificate, by Bennion Center
  • Utah Center for Vocology — name change
  • New certificates, as part of Utah special initiative for SkillUP Certificates

Pre-Mining Engineering

Mines Operations Management

Sustainable Resource Development

Data Fluency

Data Science

Operation & Supply Chain Management

Software Development Programming


ASUU President Ephraim Kum introduced himself, then recapped the numerous projects and activities that ASUU leaders had launched over the summer. He highlighted the efforts of the ASUU Presidency officers, ASUU legislative branch, ASUU executive boards, and ASUU judicial branch. He summarized by reporting that although the last few months have been difficult for ASUU leaders, they have shown great fortitude, creativity, and determination in being strong student advocates despite the current challenges.



No items for this meeting.




Center for Business, Health, and Prosperity

Steve Alder, Jay Barney, and Abbie Griffin–Director (designate) and Co-Directors (designates)–introduced a proposal and governance structure document for a Center for Business, Health and Prosperity. Housed in the David Eccles School of Business (DESB), the Center would aim to promote societal prosperity by integrating multidisciplinary education and research approaches that expand business innovation and communal health. This Center would be unique in that it will focus on how improved health levels lead to better economic opportunities and likewise how better economic opportunities lead to improved health in a community. The University of Utah is well suited to address the interdisciplinary aspects of the Center’s research focus. Steve offered that the Center’s purpose aligns with both University and DESB goals, and it continues to develop partnerships across campus. Jay identified that studying informal economies in underdeveloped countries is an example of the type of research the Center could do.


The presenters explained that the proposal asks for full status for the Center, rather than applying for only provisional status, because the plans had developed to a point where it made sense to go through the full approval process rather than the shorter provisional approval process (without requiring a Senate vote). However, the Center would be required, as all University centers are, to periodically report on its activities, staff, and financial stability. Responding to a question, Bob Flores, as Senate Policy Liaison, explained that a special Senate Committee “CIB-2” is now preparing a proposal for revised University Regulations governing Centers and Institutes, which will include procedures and criteria for approval of new units, and for periodic reviews of existing units, with one possible outcome of terminating a unit that is found not worthy of continuation.


Senator Gabriel Lozada, Senator Kelly Bricker, and others asked about which other departments and research centers the organizers had spoken with about partnering with the proposed Center. Discussion resulted in some Senators indicating they would like to know that a wider variety of possible partners on campus had been consulted. Gabriel Lozada moved to postpone a final vote on granting full status to the proposed Center until the September 28 Senate meeting to give the team time to speak with other associated centers and departments. After a second from Leslie Francis, the motion passed with 9 opposed and 3 abstaining. Randy Dryer asked Senators with specific suggestions of groups that could be consulted to contact Steve Alder or send those to the Senate Secretary Jane Laird for further coordination.



Public Safety Reformation: Chief Safety Officer and UofU Chief of Police

The University of Utah Chief Safety Officer (CSO) Marlon Lynch and Chief of Police Rodney Chatman updated the Academic Senate on recent public safety reformation plans and activities. CSO Lynch explained that, since he started in February, the University public safety functions have been reorganized. New leadership throughout the organization and enhancement of existing divisions have increased capacity, transparency, outreach, and accountability. He is additionally populating, from important stakeholder constituencies such as faculty and students, two new committees to increase community input to the safety office operations: The Public Safety Advisory Committee and an Independent Review Committee. Marlon reiterated that his office would ensure that academic leadership is not only involved with creating a vision for comprehensive campus safety, but also stays informed. An important part of implementing improvements to campus safety is engaging with the community and stakeholders.


University of Utah Chief of Police Rodney Chatman highlighted developments in campus policing services. His initial emphasis has been to build relationships and trust. This has meant implementing a student-centered approach to the services provided by the campus police department. It is committed to being a resource to faculty, staff, visitors, and students. Rodney explained that the education and outreach goals, as well as determining a successful policing model, when policing a university community are different than those of municipal policing. A newly hired Captain will provide administrative oversight to community engagement activities. The department has changed the way it recruits, onboards, and trains its staff. Plans also include regular interaction with the University’s international students. Other outreach and educational projects to support a successful campus policing model have also been implemented.


First Year Admissions Credentials-Interim Rule Policy 6-404        

Steve Robinson, Director of Admissions, explained that a two-year pilot project has been launched to make standardized test scores an optional part of undergraduate admissions requirements. To implement this, Interim University Rule R 6–404C: Undergraduate Admissions—SAT or ACT Scores was adopted by President Watkins, effective on June 30, 2020 in order to be in place for the Fall 2020 term. It temporarily modifies Policy 6-404—Undergraduate Admissions, so that for most applicants for admission providing the SAT/ ACT scores will no longer be mandatory. This adjustment accomplishes a work-around to test center closures and capacity reductions caused by the pandemic. Standardized testing will still be required for applications for merit-based scholarships and direct admission programs in Engineering and Business. However, the Admissions Office is monitoring ongoing test site closings, which continue to happen, and will also adjust to further developments in lack of access to testing centers. After further research, the Interim Rule will be replaced by a permanent version, to be submitted for Senate approval, no later than July 2022.


Title IX Interim Rule                            

Phyllis Vetter, General Counsel and Vice President, and Sherrie Hayashi, Director/Title IX Coordinator of the Office of Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action (OEO/AA) introduced the Interim Changes to University of Utah Nondiscrimination Policy 1-012 and Interim Rules 1-012,  1-012A, 1-012B. To comply with a pressing deadline, the University needed to adopt changes to meet new federal regulations, and so President Watkins adopted the changes through the Interim Regulations process. Senate Executive Committee members had been consulted and had offered their input during the formulation of the Interim Regulations. These will be reviewed and revised through the normal policy drafting process over the next two years and then brought for Senate approval. Phyllis thanked Sherrie and the OEO office for successfully managing the task of collaborating with offices and leaders across campus and updating the regulations in time to meet the federal deadline. Bob Flores was also thanked for his contributions in drafting the Interim Regulations.


Sherrie also thanked the Senate Executive Committee and summarized that the most notable change in the interim regulations was requiring mandatory hearings for sexual misconduct complaints. The OEO alone will no longer issue findings (of cause or insufficient evidence to determine whether there has been a violation of University policy); it will instead make recommendations. A hearing committee will then determine if there has been a policy violation. In addition, the University will provide procedure advisors for the parties for these hearings, when there is not one already chosen by a party, for the limited purpose of conducting cross examination of witnesses. The University will need to identify a pool of individuals able to serve as those assigned advisors. There are also enhanced training requirements for University personnel.


Divestment/Reinvestment Committee Status Report                    

Allyson Mower, Chair of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee for Divestment & Reinvestment Investigations, updated the Senate on the status of the newly formed committee charged with investigating divestment and reinvestment strategies for the University’s endowment fund. The Committee is hosting monthly town hall meetings on Zoom, and its first session took place earlier today with 30 in attendance. The next town hall meeting will be September 21, 2020, noon to 1 pm. Students, staff and faculty are welcome. Allyson invited Senators to visit the Committee webpage on the Senate website to see the full schedule and the investigation topic areas that will be covered by each town hall.


UIT 2FA Security Upgrade                        

Recent email breaches and loss of protected health information have contributed to the growing critical security risks facing the University email system, reported Chief Information Officer Stephen Hess. Along with Interim Hospital CIO Jeff Livingston and Chief Technology Officer Cory Roach, Steve explained that the solution being implemented is a two-factor authentication tool call Modern Authentication. The initial phase of implementation, completed on July 15, 2020, covered health science workers, faculty, and staff who have restricted and protected data in their emails. Phase two will be completed September 15 and cover the rest of the University’s Umail users. Users of IMAP/POP email technology who do not have private restricted information in their email can get an exception through their dean or director.


Faculty and Staff Emergency Fund                                                      

Sarah George of the University Development Office announced the OneUCares Faculty and Staff Emergency Fund. The Fund will help faculty and staff during temporary financial hardships experienced because of unavoidable circumstances such as sudden illness, family crisis, or natural disaster. Funded entirely by donations, it can provide a maximum of $1,000 annually to a single household. It will be managed by University of Utah Human Resources, and a committee of faculty and staff will review each request. Volunteers who would like to serve on this committee should contact her. Sarah added that a fundraising campaign would be launched later in the week, so University community members will receive more information on how to donate and support peers in need.


New Senator Orientation 2020-2021 Recording and Slides

Randy Dryer announced that the presentation and slide set for the Senator Orientation, held on August 20, 2020, are included with today’s agenda materials, available on BoardDocs. (Note that the 2020-2021 Senate Photo Roster was also included with today’s agenda materials.)


Due to time constraints, Senator Horwitz’s memo on online course issues was moved to the September 14, 2020 Executive Committee meeting agenda.


Senate President Randy Dryer asked Senators for strategies that would allow the Senate to conduct its business without meetings taking longer than planned. He noted that one item that he wanted to add to Senate agendas was a regular report from the Senate Advisory Committee on University Strategic Planning. After discussion of an array of options for making best use of meeting time, Randy said he would poll the Senate to find out which options worked best for the most members. He asked those with additional suggestions and comments to contact him to assist in building the survey.


Meeting adjourned at 5:42 pm.