ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES
December 7, 2009
Call to Order
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on December 7, 2009 was called to order at 3:04 pm by James A. Anderson, Senate President. The meeting was held in room 115 C. Roland Christensen Center.
Roll: Elizabeth Adoyo, David Ailion, Peter Alfeld, Bob Allen, Richard Barton, Amanda Barusch, Francis H. Brown, Connie Bullis, Steve Carson, George Cassiday, Margaret Clayton, Tayler Clough, Suzanne Darais, Larry DeVries, Tina Diekmann, Marianna DiPaolo, Eric Eddings, Marlene Egger, Richard Ernst, Robert Fujinami, Michael Goodman, Michael Hardman, Sandra Hasstedt, Greg Hatch, Henryk Hecht, Bob Hill, Eric Hinderaker, Vladimir Hlady, Lauren Holland, Harriet Hopf, Martin Horvath, Randy Jensen, Steve Kern, David Kiefer, Todd Kramer, Joelle Lien, Brad Lundahl, James Metherall, Alysha Moore Esplin, Katie Moore, Kathryn Morton Allyson Mower, A. Chris Nelson, Maria Newton, David Pendell, Kevin Perry, Christ Peterson, David Plumlee, Mollie Poynton, R. Lor Randall, Sean Redmond, Steve Reynolds, Rita Reusch, Jerry Root, Andrea Rorrer, Antonio Serrato-Combe, James Sibthorp, Erica Sellers, Sam Thomas, Jon Leano for Irving Torres, Bonnie Baty for David Viskochil, Margaret Wan, Donna White, Bryce Williams, Lindsay Williams, Cecilia Wainryb, Seth Welborn, Braden York, Nick Wolfinger.
Excused: Tim Ameel, Vincent Cheng, Pat Hanna, Nelson Roy, Paula Smith
Ex-officio: James E. Anderson, Fred Esplin, John Francis, Nancy Lines, Paul Mogren, Robert Newman, Joyce Ogburn, David W. Pershing, Richard Sperry, Chuck Wight, Michael K. Young
Others: Ann Floor, Rick Anderson, Ed Barbanell, Timothy Ebner, Jeffrey West, Theresa Ashman, Marissa Diener, Nick Korevaar, Don Wardell, Diana Brixner
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the Academic Senate meeting of November 2, 2009 were unanimously approved following a motion from Larry DeVries.
Request for New Business
The White Paper was presented by Chuck Wight and Rick Anderson entitled “Electronic Publication of Theses and Dissertations”. In this presentation they listed three basic changes and two other points in the publication of theses and dissertations. The overall changes will eliminate paper copies while lowering the cost to students as it will all be done electronically.
The resignations, retirements, faculty appointments, auxiliary, and limited term appointments, appearing in the Appendices dated November 23 and December 7, 2009 received approval to forward to the Board of Trustees.
Executive Committee Report
Jim Metherall, Executive Committee Secretary, summarized his written report of the November 2, 2009 Executive Committee meeting.
Report from Administration
President Michael Young took a moment to praise the athletic program and reported that they have an overall GPA of 3.0 with 22 percent being on the Dean’s List. He announced that Utah will play in the Poinsettia Bowl game in San Diego on December 23. He reported on a few more favorable events, the first being the Tanner Lecture Series guest speaker, Isabel Allende, on December 2, which attracted nearly 1100 people in the Union Building. Another highlight was the Center for American Indian Languages’ international symposium on endangered languages which attracted scholars from around the world. Finally President Young announced that the Benning Lecture will be presented by Venki Ramakrishnan, the 2009 Nobel Laureate.
President Young reported that the University’s research dollars fiscal close is $150 million ahead in research funding from last year. The first quarter of this year is 25 percent ahead from the same time last year. Of the 114 stimulus fund grants offered to the state, 95 were awarded to the University of Utah. Other funding from the RCI programs, of the 800 awarded, the University received 10 putting them in the same category at Vanderbilt, Harvard with 9, and Yale with 7. This program allows more dollars to enhance the capacity for writing more grants at the U.
President Young discussed the prospects for the University’s budget in the upcoming legislative session. He speculated that our state appropriation could remain about the same as in the current year, wherein about half of the 17 percent reduction in base funding implemented in the 2009 session is being offset by one-time funding, or “backfill.” This would entail a decision by the legislature to use a portion of their “rainy day” funds to replace the federal stimulus money that constitutes the backfill in the current year. He went on to say that the business community has been very supportive of the University, particularly in pointing out the risk of permanent damage that could result if we were subjected to additional major reductions in our budget. Prospects for tax increases are slim with the possible exception of an increase in the cigarette tax, which, if enacted, would likely be directed to support for health care. More information regarding the budget will become available early in the legislative session and will be passed on accordingly.
Ed Barbanell (associate dean Undergraduate Studies) and Tim Ebner (Registrar) informed the senate regarding updates on how enforcement of required course pre-requisites will be handled more systematically beginning in the fall. They explained that in a pilot program for some departments, the registrar’s computerized registration system will be used as a tool for enforcing pre-requisites. In general, the software will not allow registration for an advanced course unless the prerequisites have been satisfied. In particular, in cases in which students have not previously satisfied a pre-requisite, but have enrolled in pre-requisite courses at the same time they register for an advanced course, if the student is unable to maintain the performance expectations in the pre-requisite course then they will automatically be unrolled from the advanced course. In the pilot implementation, this system will be enforced in the College of Engineering, College of Business, and the Department of Mathematics and will apply to all elective advanced courses for which pre-requisites are established. Permission codes may still be used by faculty and administration to bypass the software enforcement and allow exceptions to the pre-requisite requirements for particular cases, after carefully considering the student’s request for exception.
Report from ASUU
Tayler Clough informed the senators that the ASUU 2010-2011 campaign has started today and posters will be appearing all over campus. The campaign reform bill has passed their senate and assembly and is on its way to the Board of Trustees for approval. This bill would limit campaign spending from $10,000 down to a more equitable $6,750 per party. Tayler concluded by commenting that the mentoring program has been presented to their boards to mull around and will be revisited in January.
Notice of Intent
Susan Olson, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, gave an overview of proposed Policy and Rule 9-003 for Endowed Chairs. She explained that this would regulate specially named University positions and protect donors as well as the University. She also noted that the policy will regulate the levels of the donations required to establish various types of specially named position, as the usage for an endowed chair should remain high, which at current time is a minimum requirement of $1.25 million. The regulation will require persons appointed to such specially named positions to be reviewed every five years. The Distinguished Professor or Presidential Professor ranks are not included in this regulation. A question arose about the possibility of taking a portion of donations made to support a specially named position in one college or department and requiring that to be split and shared with other colleges and departments (requiring the “haves” to share their donated funds with the “have-nots”). Discussion about that idea ensued, and it was first noted that there is no direct connection between proposed regulation 9-003 and any such concept of mandatory splitting donated funds—so that debate and approval of 9-002 could proceed independently of further discussion about mandatory sharing. It was noted that allocations of existing funds donated for such positions are ordinarily controlled by specific terms of legal agreements negotiated with the donors, and cannot be retroactively changed by the University. As to whether mandatory sharing could be imposed for future donations, Susan Olson suggested that this might best first be discussed with the vice president for Institution Advancement. The proposal for Policy and Rule 9-003 will appear on the January Academic Senate Debate Calendar.
Associate V.P. Jeff West was invited to respond to questions regarding Policy 3-018 for Internal Controls, which had appeared on the previous month’s Intent Calendar. Specified changes in the proposal were made after the previous meeting as friendly amendments responding to stated suggestions. As the revised proposal was self-explanatory, there were no questions or concerns and a motion was called for. Larry DeVries made a motion to approve the proposed policy and forward to the Board of Trustees for final approval which was seconded by Eric Eddings and approved unanimously.
Nick Korevaar, director of Undergraduate Studies in the department of Mathematics came before the senate to respond to questions regarding the proposed new major in Applied Mathematics. A friendly amendment from the Executive Committee to correct some figures on the budget page was submitted and included in the final proposal. A motion was called for as there were no questions or concerns for the proposal. Francis Brown made a motion to approve the proposed major as amended and forward to the Board of Trustees for final approval which was seconded by Steve Kern and approved unanimously.
Don Wardell, chair of the department of Operations and Information Systems in the School of Business presented the proposal for the new major in Operations Management. A query was made regarding the authenticity of the dean’s signature on the proposal. It was explained that a designee had signed on behalf of the dean at the time the proposal was submitted to the Undergraduate Council. Professor Wardell accepted a friendly request to obtain a new signature of the dean of the School of Business and forward to the Senate office to be included in the proposal for their permanent record. A motion from Larry DeVries to approve the request with the friendly request and forward to the Board of Trustees was seconded by Chris Nelson.
Connie Bullis from the department of Communication presented the proposal for a new minor in Media Studies. As there were no questions, Todd Kramer motioned to approve the proposal and forward to the Board of Trustees for final approval which was seconded by Frank Brown and approved unanimously.
Michael Hardman, dean of the College of Education, presented the college’s proposed request to (i) transfer their undergraduate elementary education program to a cross-departmental college-level undergraduate degree program, and (ii) discontinue the Department of Teaching and Learning. A friendly amendment to include mention of the College of Humanities in the Institutional Impact section regarding graduate admission standards, and to include a reference to Policy 6-302 as an additional reference in the proposal was accepted. A corrected copy will be sent to the Senate office for the Senate and Trustees permanent records. A motion from Joelle Lien to approve the request as amended and forward to the Board of Trustee for final approval was seconded by Marianna DiPaolo and approved unanimously.
Diana Brixner, chair of the department of Pharmacotherapy presented the proposal for a Ph.D in Pharmacotherapy Outcomes Research and Health Policy and explained this is being requested for the purpose of training more scientists in outcomes research. The department does not currently offer an academic doctoral program that provides this type of training. Larry DeVries made a motion to approve the request and forward to the Board of Trustees for final approval which was seconded by Steve Kern and approved unanimously.
Associate Dean Christopher Peterson from the College of Law presented the proposal for a joint degree Juris Doctor and Master of Social Work stating that it was one of a number of joint degrees participated in by the law school and not uncommon. There are four or five other joint degrees which provide real value to both students and the community. Chris Nelson made a motion to approve the request and forward to the Board of Trustees for final approval which was seconded by Andrea Rorrer and unanimously approved.
Marissa Diener, chair of the Athletics Advisory Council presented a short synopsis of the council’s annual report. She indicated her desire to take back any issues or questions to the council for their consideration. The report will stand as is and the council will consider a gender equity concern in next year’s report.
There was no new business.
The meeting adjourned at 4:27 p.m.