February 4, 2019
Call to Order
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on February 4, 2019, was called to order at 3:04 pm by Senate President Thomas Richmond. The meeting was held in the Moot Courtroom of the College of Law.
Present: Rima Ajlouni, Rajeev Balasubramonian, Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer, Amy Barrios, Pinar Bayrak-Toydemir, Donald Blumenthal, Bryan Bonner, Sarah Bush, Kirsten Butcher, Brian Cadman, Devon Cantwell, Laurel Caryn, Ravi Chandran, Nadia Cobb, Susanna Cohen, Sheila Crowell, Chuck Dorval, Randy Dryer, Ann Engar, Korkut Erturk, Diego Fernandez, Candace Floyd, Kenneth Foreman, Leslie Francis, Per Gesteland, Thomas Crane Giamo, Amanda Goodner, Valerie Guerrero, Gema Guevara, Kim Hackford-Peer, Patricia Hanna, Mia Hashibe, Eric Hinderaker, Christel Hohenegger, Christopher Hull, Howie Huynh, Anne Kirchhoff, Kim Korinek, Anne Lair, Rich Landward, Dale Larsen, Sean Lawson, Tom Lund, Brad Lundahl, Jim Martin, Sharon Mastracci, Maureen Mathison, Claire McGuire, Kaitlin McLean, Dragan Milicic, Ken Monson, Krystal Moorman, Connor Morgan, Susan Naidu, Kathleen Nicoll, Rick Paine, Brandon Patterson, Wanda Pillow, Elizabeth Pohl, Ravi Ranjan, Kalani Raphael, Angela Rasmussen, John Regehr, Brad Rockwell, Frank Sachse, Alejandra Sanchez, Amnon Schlegel, Jon Seger, Peyden Shelton, Helene Shugart, Debra Simmons, Sara Simonsen, Carol Sogard, Dustin Stokes, James Sutherland, Alex Terrill, Emily Thomas, Sylvia Torti, Aryana Vadipour, Brenda Van Der Wiel, Neil Vickers, James Winkler, Tom Winter, Taryn Young, Zhou Yu
Excused with proxy: Bob Allen, Olga Baker, Shmuel Baruch, Gunseli Berik, Mike Caserta, Katharine Coles, Tommaso De Fernex, Lauren Liang, Lauren Perry, Pearl Sandick
Excused: Darryl Butt, Michael Larice, Jennifer Shumaker-Parry, Joanne Yaffe
Absent: Alan Abbinanti, Elena Asparouhova, Nitin Bakshi, Joel Brownstein, Adrienne Cachelin, Mark Durham, Haley Feten, John Funk, Ken Johnson, Kaelin Kaczka, Emily Kam, Hanseup Kim, Winston Kyan, Stephane LeBohec, Kaden Madson, Jon Rainier, Georgi Rausch, Nelson Roy, Taylor Stringham, Thomas Swensen, Jessica Wempen, Julie Wright-Costa, Shundana Yusaf
Ex Officio: John Boyack, Margaret Clayton, Julio Facelli, Robert Flores, Robert Fujinami, Dave Hill, Harriet Hopf, Jane Laird, Paul Mogren, Thomas Richmond, Ruth Watkins, Daniel Reed
Others: Student Presidential Ambassadors Ilham Batar and Sheva Mozafari
Approval of Minutes:
The minutes dated January 7, 2018 were approved upon a motion from Kaitlin McLean and a second by Kathleen Nicoll.
The Consent Calendar was approved upon a motion from Kaitlin McLean and a second by Aryana Vadipour.
Report from Administration
President Ruth Watkins announced that the University continues to work very hard and be sharply focused on campus safety. Quite a bit of progress has been made on the 30 action items recommended by the recent campus safety review task force. Informational updates will continue to be announced and posted on the campus safety website. Student leaders–Connor Morgan, Kaitlin McLean, and others—have taken a lead in hosting a campus safety conference that will involve student leaders from the other Utah universities and colleges.
The legislative session had started, and thanks to the efforts of faculty, students, and staff, there are many good things to say about the University. The performance of the University and success of its students continues to rise, and when visiting with the Legislature, these are helpful things to be able to talk about.
The President also updated the Senate on the University’s stance on the recent hate-speech banner and posters displayed on campus. It is a delicate issue, but her approach is to firmly and clearly talk about what the institution believes and values. At the same time there is a legal responsibility to allow diverse views and opinions, however these are best presented in appropriate ways and times.
One of the three UofU semi-finalist projects will go to the finals of the American Dream Ideas Challenge, which is focused on ensuring a vibrant middle class in America. The finalist is a project aimed at incorporating community and campus to assist rural Utah economies that are experiencing change as they move away from coal production. She was also proud to announce that Utah was invited to participate, for the first time, in a recent community engagement conference hosted by the Mellon Foundation.
Senate Executive Committee Report
Julio Facelli reported that, in the January 14, 2019 Senate Executive Committee meeting, discussions included proposed changes to Policy 4-003, which covers university websites. The proposed policy was initially set for this Senate meeting’s information calendar, but subsequently postponed by request from the policy drafting group. Senator Pat Hanna is leading the drafting group, so Senators who have thoughts on this policy will want to connect with her. In addition, the Committee approved the inclusion of items presented on this Senate meeting’s agenda.
Report from ASUU
ASUU President Connor Morgan reported that two important resolutions on the ASUU legislative agenda were passed by the ASUU Assembly and ASUU Senate. The first is a proposed $11 student fee increase that will further support student mental health on campus by providing more funds to the University Counseling Center, the Women’s Resource Center and the Center for Student Wellness. This was also passed by the Student Fee Committee and will next be presented to President Watkins and the Board of Trustees.
The other was a Carbon Neutrality on Campus resolution that the ASUU Sustainability Board has been working on this year. The resolution asks the University and President Watkins to recommit to the carbon neutrality pledge made about ten years ago. Connor anticipates proposing this resolution to the Senate Executive Committee and the full Academic Senate in the near future.
Other highlights include holding a successful Diverse Excellence Conference the prior week and gearing up for ASUU elections. The ASUU also looks forward to participating in the upcoming legislative session and lobbying for issues that concern students.
Senate Personnel and Elections Committee Chair Randy Dryer updated the Senate on upcoming elections for the Senate and for University and Senate committee vacancies. There will be elections for 40 faculty Senate seats, one Senate officer (President-elect), and approximately 28 Senate committee vacancies. Also, President Watkins takes University committee appointments very seriously, so the P&E committee is also charged with nominating at least two faculty members for each of the 56 vacancies in this area. Nominations for Senate President-elect will reflect the updated Policy 6-002 III-C approved by the Senate on January 7, 2019.
One important part of the timeline is the creation and dissemination of the annual Faculty Committee Interest survey, which will go live on February 5, 2019. Senators will receive an email with the survey link, and Randy encouraged everyone to publicize the survey and forward the link within their departments. The P&E committee is scheduled to meet again on March 29 to develop a diverse set of appropriate candidates for committee elections or appointments and attend to other election requirements. Anyone wishing to run for Senate President-elect is welcome to contact Senate President Tom Richmond, and other officers, to find out more.
Notice of Intent Calendar no items were presented on the Notice of Intent Calendar
Master of Business Creation
The proposed Master of Business Creation (MBC) degree was presented by Todd Zenger, Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy Chair, Troy D’Ambrosio, Assistant Dean and Executive Director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, and Mark Parker, Associate Dean of Programs at the David Eccles School of Business. This specialized program is characterized as a hybrid masters-degree program and venture incubator in a relatively intensive format. Its newly developed curriculum allows students to start a business, while supported by contemporaneous educational content that can be immediately applied to the start-up process, the key curricular innovation. The program anticipates a steady-state program size of about 50 students, who will be admitted based on qualifications, academic preparation and the promise of the venture idea. The business ideas can be for either the for-profit or not-for profit categories. It is anticipated that funding for the curriculum development comes from the Dean’s office, and that students will be fully scholarship-ed or corporate-sponsored. In general, the University will not have equity in companies created by this program. A motion to approve this proposal by Randy Dryer, seconded by Kaitlin McLean, was passed.
BFA in Film and Media Arts – Animation Production Emphasis
Craig Caldwell, Department of Film and Media Arts, discussed the proposed new BFA with an Animation Production emphasis. The field keeps expanding and currently requires a deeper skill set. Animation production students are very supportive of more rigorous and structured curriculum to meet growing industry needs. It will also help transfers, career-placement, and recruitment. A motion by Sylvia Torti, seconded Kaitlin McLean, to approve the proposal was passed.
BFA in Graphic Design
Carol Sogart, Art & Art History Department, explained that the department currently has a Graphic Design emphasis, and serves an average of 100 undergraduate majors annually. This change to a BFA will offer curriculum that provides more robust and specialized education. This is a response to marketplace demands in Utah, as well as regionally and nationally. The current program will be phased out while this program is phased in over the next three years. There will be an MOU with Salt Lake Community College articulating course credit for those who transfer into the program, which will assist recruitment. A motion by Kaitlin McLean to approve the proposal, Sarah Czaja (proxy for Lauren Perry), was passed.
Revised Policy 3-030 Travel
VP for Administrative Services John Nixon presented two changes to Travel Policy 3-030. First, internal audits showed that the policy needed an update to specifically require all travel expenses incurred on a grant to be completed prior to the end of the grant. This ensures that researchers are in compliance with the grant, and exceptions will need to be approved by the granting institution. The other change is to eliminate obsolete references to the Diners Club and American Express corporate travel cards, which are not used at this time. Chuck Dorval’s motion to approve the changes, seconded by Kathleen Nicoll, passed.
Revised Policy 3-041 Accountability for Non-capital Equipment
John Nixon and Randy Arvay, Chief Information Security Officer, explained that findings from a recent state legislative audit led to a new Board of Regents policy applicable to the University. Also, findings from a related University internal audit recommended changes in procedures for accounting for certain equipment below the current noncapital purchase threshold of $3,000. To respond to those audit outcomes and comply with the new Regents policy, it is necessary to slightly revise the wording of University Policy 3-041 so that University-owned noncapital equipment that may contain personally identifiable information or sensitive information is tracked and inventoried regardless of the purchase costs or value of the equipment. The policy covers only the inventorying and accounting for University-owned assets, not those personally owned. In addition, noncapital assets that do not have the potential to contain PII do not fall under this policy revision. To address concerns expressed by Senators at a previous meeting, the presenters clarified that the University has several separate policies that cover information security across the University, and Randy can respond to questions about those.
James Sutherland, representing his department’s unanimous opposition to this proposal, asked Senators to not approve this policy proposal or, if approved, at least indicate that there was opposition. Inventorying more assets creates another administrative burden to programs and departments, while at the same time does not provide further information protection-as that area is covered by different policies.
Randy explained that data classification risk assessments conducted across Utah state universities, the legislature result, and Board of Regents policy change on data classification have resulted in a two-tiered University-wide policies update implementation. The inventory policy change is the first tier, and the data classification policy changes—the second tier–will be discussed with SACIT and presented at a later time. John added there is an attempt to mitigate the imposed extra administrative burden, of inventorying University owned assets that may contain sensitive data, by raising the noncapital equipment (which requires internal inventorying already) classification threshold from $1,000 to $3,000 ($5,000 and above is the threshold for capital equipment, which requires separate treatment). The legislative audit found that the University needs to have better records on its assets, and for insurance, disclosure, and numerous security purposes it also makes good business sense to inventory assets that contain sensitive information. John indicated that his department is working to make sure the transition is as easy as possible for projects and departments. A motion to approve the policy change, from Pat Hanna and seconded by Connor Morgan, passed, with 20 Senators opposed and 5 abstentions.
Permanent Status for Sorenson Impact Center
Taylor Randall, Dean of the David Eccles School of Business, Hewson Baltzell, Sorenson Impact Center Executive Director, and Caroline Ross, Sorenson Center Researcher, introduced the permanent status proposal for the Center. Taylor explained that the Center seeks to craft and implement intervention strategies to solve social problems by combining data analysis with smart social science research. The initiative began in 2013 with an endowment from Jim Sorenson, and has since grown via grants from national foundations, federal grants, private grants and contracts, and its Winter Innovation Conference. The Center collaborates and partners with University faculty, multiple departments, plus public, nonprofit, and private sector groups to develop and implement outcomes-driven solutions. There are 61 student interns, in an affiliated student program, in groups focused on impact investing, data science, communications, and policy and social innovation. The Center does not offer curriculum. Students can however take courses offered by the DESB academic departments.
The Center’s Director reports to the Dean of DESB. Its advisory board is populated by the Dean, the Director, the donor, and four faculty members. The Senate Executive Committee had asked that the proposal incorporate more faculty input, so two new faculty had been added to the advisory board structure. Devon Cantwell asked if the Dean was open to adding a student representative to the advisory board, and the Dean responded by making an immediate commitment to include a student representative. Taylor added that student involvement is key to the Center’s success. He also clarified that the gift agreement included donor involvement during the donor’s lifetime. A motion to approve the proposal from Randy Dryer, seconded by Sylvia Torti, passed, with 5 abstentions.
Special Education Minor
The proposed minor in Special Education will serve two purposes, explained Susan Johnston, Special Education Department Chair. It will create an opportunity for undergraduate students who are not pursuing a career in special education to better understand the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families. This is of interest to students who are completing their major in other departments, such communications disorders. Because the Special Education major is closed, adding a minor will allow those students access to these courses.
A second purpose is to create a third pathway to allow students with this minor to later acquire a Special Education graduate degree with licensure in an abbreviated time frame. This expedited time frame helps address critical personnel shortages in the field. She added that the Department believes that this minor aligns with its mission to prepare students for lives of impact as leaders and citizens, particularly as it relates to supporting individuals with disabilities. It also complements departments from other parts of the campus. There is no additional cost to adding this minor, and many of the courses are online or conducted in the evenings so are very accessible. Wanda Pillow asked what the overlap would be with the currently offered disability studies minor (offered by the School of Cultural and Social Transformation). Susan expressed that although the two minors have different focuses and outcomes, they are complimentary; the special education minor is aimed at providing instructional strategies that support diverse learning needs. A motion from Pat Hanna to approve the proposal, seconded by Nadia Cobb, was passed.
Data Science BS
Jeff M. Phillips and Ross Whitaker, from the School of Computing, presented a proposed new BS in Data Science. This is a popular and growing field; the department has heard from students and local industry that Data Science training is highly desirable in the job market. The Data Science degree will be similar to one earned in Computer Science, except for requiring more math and statistics, and giving students a set of tools that are specific to data. In addition, students will interact with specific domains, so to gain exposure on how to work with and talk to scientists. A motion by Kaitlin McLean, seconded Per Gesteland, to approve this proposal passed.
Information and Recommendations Calendar
Emphasis for the Communication BA/BS – SHER
Natasha Seegert, Department of Communication, presented a proposed new emphasis, established so that students will learn how to better communicate in the areas of science, health, environment and risk (SHER). It takes advantage of faculty who have expertise in these areas. The department has close to 1000 majors and 4% of those are pursuing the SHER course sequence. Moving the sequence to an emphasis will help the department to better track and advise these students, along with helping identify future curriculum needs.
Quantitative Analysis of Markets & Organizations BS –Emphases for (1) Operations & Supply Chain and (2) Information Systems
Scott Schaefer, Business Administration Chair, introduced two additional emphases for the QAMO major, which has a series of emphases that allow students to add business disciplines’ specific content to this major. The new emphases are Operations & Supply Chain and Information Systems.
Biology Emphases: Genetics & Genomics, Microbiology, Plant Biology and
Neurobiology/Evolution and Environment emphasis name change
Leslie Sieburth, Biology Department Associate Chair, presented four new Biology emphases, and an emphasis name change, as part of a large curriculum revision aimed at helping students graduate faster. The field of Biology has grown enormously, and last time the department revised its curriculum was over 20 years ago. The department had been very proud to give students a very broad introduction to biology, but it is not possible to do this effectively any more. Students also want more specialization. As part of the process to implement a responsive curriculum, the department will now offer emphases to allow this. The new emphases are Neurobiology, Plant Biology, Genetics & Genomics, and Microbiology. In addition, there is a name change for a current emphasis so to better describe its focus, and the new title is Evolution and Environment.
Graduate Council Review Geophysics Department
Katie Ullman, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, presented the report of the Graduate Council 7th year Review of the department. Faculty strength was noted by the reviewers, and the department was commended for contributions to cross-disciplinary research, such as the Global Change and Sustainability Center. Included in the review were strategies to bridge a bimodal age distribution between recent recruits and a population of faculty nearing retirement, and encouragement to continue to capitalize on the legacy and resources of senior faculty members. Degree programs were seen as very successful, and suggestions made for areas to improve.
Graduate Council Review Psychology Department
The report of the Graduate Council 7th year Review of the Psychology Department highlighted successes in creating an inclusive learning environment, and a notable increase in faculty research productivity, explained Katie Ullman. Recommendations included stabilizing support for career-line faculty, who play an increasingly important role. Solutions still need to be found for serious facility and research environment issues.
No new Business
- Senate President Tom Richmond reported that the UofU Academic Senate officers had recently attended a PAC 12 Academic Leadership Conference hosted by USC. Senate leadership representatives from most of the PAC institutions attended. It was interesting to see a commonality of issues related to campus safety, student evaluations, and student wellness. These were some of the big topics brought up in a very productive meeting.
- Brandon Patterson, Libraries, asked if it was possible to get updates from the anti-racism taskforce formed in October 2017. SVP Reed responded that the task force is still very active, and the chairs, Keith Diaz-Moore and David Derezotes, would be happy to present updates to the Senate.
Meeting adjourned at 4:42 pm.