February 1, 2016

Feb 01 2016
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Meeting Minutes


February 1, 2016



Call to Order:

The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on February 1, 2016, was called to order at 3:03 p.m. by Bill Johnson, Senate President. The meeting was held in HSEB Alumni Hall.


Present: Ole Fischer, Sarah Hinners, Lyda Bigelow, Jeff Coles, Jeff Nielsen, Todd Zenger, Leticia Alvarez, Yongmei Ni, Janiece Pompa, A.K. Balaji, Robert Hitchcock, Sudeep Kanungo, Xiaoyue Liu, Meredith Metzger, Edward M. Trujillo, Denny Berry, Joe Marotta, Steve Roens, Lien Fan Shen, Kelly Bricker, Julie Metos, Les Podlog, Lorie Gage Richards, James Anderson, Karin Baumgartner, Maria Dobozy, Disa Gambera, Avery Holton, Anne Jamison, Lex Newman, David Hill, Terry Kogan, John Bramble, Alicia Brillon, Luke Leither, Jennifer Garvin, Michelle Hofmann, Katherine Kendall, John T. Langell, Antoinette Laskey, William Lowrance, Nicole Mihalopoulos, Maureen A. Murtaugh, Christy Porucznik, Ravi Ranjan, Debra Simmons, Robert A. Stephenson, Marjorie Chan, David Dinter, Paul Jewell, Margaret Clayton, Lynn Hollister, Andrea Bild, Jindrich Kopecek, Linda Tyler, Randy Dryer, Peter Alfeld, Yekaterina Epshteyn, David Goldenberg, Joel Miller, Dmytro Pesin, Thomas Richmond, John Sperry, David Temme, Andrejs Treibergs, Thomas Cova, Frances Friedrich, Lori Kowaleski-Jones, Duncan Metcalfe, Lina Svedin, Norman Waitzman, Wade Cole, Jason Castillo, Patrick Panos, Chris Bell, Cindy Chen, Ambra Jackson, John Muhs, John Peterson, Gaby Zumaeta, Anthony Oyler, Mary Beth Vogel-Ferguson,


Absent: Scott Schaefer, Melissa Lewis, Olga Baker, Gary Lowder, Orly Alter, Michael Cottle, Ning Lu, Adrian Palmer, Robin Craig, Jill Moriearty, Jody Rosenblatt, Scott T. Youngquist, Mollie Cummins, Jordan Gerton, Michael Shapiro, Joan Brenner-Coltrain, Baodong Liu, Marley Arango, Daniel Barber, Douglas Chan, Devin Daniels, Conrad Dean, Aubrey Keaney, Jaycee Lynn Christensen, Andy Moyle, Julie Olaf, Keegan Brown, Ashlee Ruff, Amy Simonsen, Hannah Stinson


Ex-Officio: Stephen Alder, Robert Flores, William Johnson, Paul A. Mogren, Xan Johnson,

David W. Pershing, Amy Wildermuth, Harriet Hopf


Excused with Proxy: Keith Bartholomew for Brenda Scheer, Nelson Roy for Stacy Manwaring, Jim Ballard for Reva Rauk, Craig Dworkin for Chrisoula Andreou, Jim Lehning for Nadja Durbach, Irene Debiase for Frederick Strathmann, Cihan Bilginsoy for Nilufer Cagatay


Excused: Carrie Byington, Vivian S. Lee, Ruth Watkins


Others: Janet Shaw, Dave Kieda, Charlie Hicks-Little


Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the Academic Senate on January 4, 2016 were approved without objection.


Consent Calendar

The current list of appointments and resignations dated February 1. 2016 was approved without objection.



Request for New Business

No new business


Executive Committee Report

Xan Johnson, Senate President-elect, gave an update on the Executive Committee’s activities. He stated that in addition to the items appearing on today’s agenda, the Executive Committee has discussed graduate admissions criteria and processes, through a meeting with the Graduate School Dean’s office. Several senators and other faculty have raised concerns about the criteria and this recent discussion with Dave Kieda and Donna White of the Dean’s office was meant to facilitate a dialogue between the two groups. Further dialogue is expected.


Report from Administration

President Pershing gave a report on the administration’s activities. He stated that he is preparing for the ongoing legislative session. He will have to testify about cutting down administrative costs. Next week, President Pershing will discuss the University’s specific funding requests, including compensation, access, high demand programs, and the medical complex. He also discussed Utah’s athletics, stating that women’s gymnastics has been so successful that the Huntsman Center had to turn people away as the facility had reached capacity, and he encouraged more attendance for the women’s basketball team games.


Report from ASUU

ASUU President Ambra Jackson and ASUU Vice President Anthony Oyler gave an update on ASUU’s activities. Ambra notified the Senate that due to her class schedule conflict Anthony will be filling in for her at Senate meetings for spring semester, but she is always accessible by email. She also discussed ASUU’s upcoming election season at the end of the month. She asked that faculty be aware of posters going up and ongoing campaigns.


Ambra and Anthony, with the help of Intertribal Student Association President Orville Cawaditto, brought forth ASUU Joint Resolution 4, which asks the University of Utah to officially recognize Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s Day. Orville stated that this resolution was created with the help of American Indian students and that it brings the U closer to inclusivity on campus. Anthony stated the University of Utah prides itself on being “Ute Proud” and this resolution is a way to truly show that message and acknowledge the state’s and school’s roots. He also asked for a letter of support and endorsement from the Academic Senate to present to the Board of Trustees. Motion made by Cindy Chen to discuss the issue. Motion seconded by AK Balaji. Motion passed unanimously.


The Senate then discussed the issue further, including bringing up the separate but related concern about the University’s continued use of the word “Ute” as mascot. Ambra stated that the student body has not taken part in that discussion as that would require a University-wide change. Regarding the main topic—Indigenous Peoples Day in place of Columbus Day, there were also issues with the specific wording of the resolution, with some senators believing certain statements in the resolution were factually inaccurate or hyperbolic. The student body leaders stated that they would be willing to make amendments to the resolution to address this issue. Motion made by Jim Anderson for a call to question. Motion made for Senate to endorse the ASUU’s resolution, conditioned on including clarifying friendly amendments to its specific wording,. Motion passed unanimously.


New Business

David Hill, chair of the Senate Personnel and Elections Committee, described efforts the Committee is making to improve participation in Senate and other University committees. He encouraged the Senate members to sign up for committees and togarner support in their own colleges when the time comes to populate the Committees. The annual survey will be sent out in March.


Notice of Intent

No items of intent


Debate Calendar

Mark Parker presented a proposal to create a Business Scholars undergraduate Certificate. The certificate would be intended for students admitted to the Freshmen or Transfer Business Scholars Program, and would be similar to an honors certification with a four-year curriculum. The Business Scholars Program has gone from 40 students in its first year to 208 students this year. There were concerns raised about this program taking students away from the Honors Program; these concerns were deflected as the Honors College wrote a letter in support of the certificate. Motion was made by Lyda Bigelow and seconded by Jeff Coles to approve the proposal and forward to the Board of Trustees. Motion passed with two opposed.  


Betsy Cook and Kelly Bricker presented the Consolidation of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism undergraduate emphases proposal. There are currently 7 emphases; six of them will be combined, and the therapeutic recreation emphases will move to Occupational Therapy due to the College of Health’s realignment. The consolidation is intended to better serve students. Motion was made to approve the proposal and forward to the Board of Trustees. Motion seconded by Lorie Richards. Motion passed unanimously.


Laura Marks presented an update to Policy 2-002, which governs the Board of Trustees membership and functions. The policy has not been updated since 1982, and the changes were made in accordance with the Board of Regents rules and Utah code. Motion was made by Randy Dryer and seconded by Ambra Jackson to approve the proposal and forward to the Board of Trustees. Motion passed unanimously.


Information and Recommendations Calendar

The following items were presented for the information and recommendations of the Academic Senate:

  • Steve Hess and Scott Sherman gave a brief presentation on changes planned for the University of Utah’s IT governance structure. His department took the study conducted by consultant Deloitte and are proposing changes that would create several different standing and ad hoc committees. There will be a Senate IT Committee, a proposal for which will be presented to the Senate soon, which would give the Academic Senate a voice in IT decisions.
  • Mike Cooper gave a presentation on the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Responsible Investment, for which he is chair. His committee researched investing options where they screened for “sin stocks,” which are stocks engaged in or connected to alcohol and tobacco. They also screened for energy producers, energy consumers, human rights violations, private prisons, weapons, and animal testing. They also evaluated the historical performance effects of socially responsible investment (SRI) practices on the University of Utah’s endowment. Mike stated that investing in SRI funds has not affected fund performance negatively nor positively. The committee recommends that there ultimately be another individual or committee who takes their information and findings and decides what types of funds the University should consider to invest and divest in.
  • Joan Gregory presented the Senate Re-Investment Dialogue Committee findings. She stated that there will be three discussions held on campus – the first being about how the U invests its funds. She encouraged the Senate members to attend these sessions and to personally invest their individual retirement TIAA-CREF and Fidelity accounts with socially conscious funds.

There will be further presentations and discussions about the issues addressed by both committees.

  • Ed Barbanell presented an update to G-6-100 a Guideline for implementing Policy 6-100 regarding excused absences from University classes. Last year, the Policy and the accompanying Guideline were adjusted to include more details about activities appropriate for excused absences from classes. The Guideline is now being  updated to include as excused absences mandatory court-related activities (e.g., jury duty and subpoena as witness). Lori McDonald, Dean of Students, will oversee implementing the Guideline. Ed, and Associate VP Amy Wildermuth, encouraged all senators to make other professors in their departments and colleges aware of the change.


Meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Wogai Mohmand