ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES
February 6, 2012
Call to Order
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate held on February 6, 2012, was called to order at 3:06 p.m. by Patricia Hanna, Senate President. The meeting was held in room CRCC 115.
Senators: Stephen Alder, Bob Allen, Lisa Aspinwall, Alexander M. Balk, Joanna Bettmann, Tully Cathey, Reaz Chaudhuri, Kuan Chen, Margaret (Mardie) Clayton, Ronald Coleman, Tina Diekmann, Marianna Di Paolo, Richard Dorsky, Richard Ernst, Richard Forster, Leslie Francis, Sabine Fuhrmann,
Robert Fujinami, Bruce Gale, Michael Gardner, Timothy Garrett, William M. Gershan, Franz Goller, Michael Goodman, Joan Gregory, Gary Grikscheit, Thad Hall, Rachel Hayes-Harb, Howard Horwitz, Eric Hutton, Thunder Jalili, William (Bill) Johnson, Bradley J. Katz, Maureen Keefe, Todd Kramer, Sharee Lane, Anthea Letsou, Karl Lins, Kim Martinez, Teri J. Mauch, Heather Melton, Duncan Metcalf, Joseph Metz, Allyson Mower, Patricia Murphy, Chris Myers, Rachel Nardo, Arthur C. (Chris) Nelson, Chris Pantelides, Lester Partlow, Chris Peterson, Sean Redmond, Alison Regan, Andrea Rorrer, Gary Rose, Sonia Salari, Janet Shaw, Clough Shelton, Gregory Smoak, Jeff Stratman, Orest Symko, Brenda Vanderwiel, David Viskochil, Norm Waitzman, Margaret Wan, Li Wang, Angela Yetman
Student Senators: Elle Barker (University), Andrew Black (Mines & Earth Science), Ryan Brinn (Health), Jackson Chambers (Fine Arts), Will Hoang (Medicine), Jillian Jensen (Humanities), Grace Ku (Business), Heather McElroy (Engineering), Sara Nassof (Social Work), Cory J. Nelson (Academic Affairs), Neela Pack (ASUU President), Eleni Schenk (Pharmacy), Taylor Spendlove (Architecture), Taylor Thompson (Science), Jeffery Van Hulten (Law), Molly Wheeler (Social & Behavioral Sci)
Ex-officio: Robert Flores, Robert Fujinami, Patricia Hanna, Paul Mogren, James Metherall, Dave Pershing, Amy Wildermuth, Shawnee Worsley
Others: Martha Bradley, Sylvia Torti, Cassandra VanBuren
Excused: A. Lorris Betz, Eric Hutton, Vivian S. Lee
Absent without Proxy: Emma Atkinson, Amanda Barusch, George Cassiday, Kathy Chapman, Alicia De Leon, Kevin DeLuca, Lee Dibble, Charles “Chuck” Grissom, Martin Horvath, Evert Lawton, Stephen Lessnick, Anne Mooney, Dragan Milicic, Martin Rechsteiner, David Rudd
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the Academic Senate meeting on December 5, 2011, were approved following a motion from Thad Hall which was seconded by Gary Rose.
Request for New Business
No New Business
The resignations retirements, faculty appointments, auxiliary and limited term appointments, appearing in the Appendices dated February 6, 2012, received approval to forward to the Board of Trustees as moved by Thad Hall and seconded by Todd Kramer.
Executive Committee Report
Robert Fujinami provided a summary of the Executive Committee meetings held on January 23, 2012.
Report from Administration
Senior Vice President David Pershing reported that he will transition to his newly appointed position as President in mid-March. Dr. Betz will continue as interim president until then. A committee will be created to conduct a national search to fill the senior vice president for academic affairs. An interim vice president will be appointed in mid-March until a new vice president is hired.
The University’s No. 1 priority with the legislature is the request for capital facilities funding of $50 million to upgrade and replace deteriorating infrastructure. The No. 1 request for appropriations funding is an increase in faculty and staff compensation. The No. 2 is a request for growth/equity and mission-based funding, which would require a review of each university in the state system to determine which schools deserve funding based on growth and /or the school’s mission.
Pershing’s top priority is to focus his administration on the undergraduate student experience and to ensure that the U is recruiting students who are prepared to succeed. He will speak more about this topic at a future meeting.
Report from ASUU
ASUU President Neela Pack reported on a variety of student activities. An upcoming basketball tournament will benefit the Huntsman Cancer Foundation; the deadline for students who want to nominate professors for the Student Choice Awards is March 2; a new scholarship database is now online at: http://financialaid.utah.edu/; and the 66% Campaign, where university and college students meet with legislators, is going well.
Notice of Intent
A motion was made by Thad Hall to combine the first three debate items (a certificate and two degree programs) and vote on them as a package. This was seconded byRachel Nardo. The motion passed.
The Certificate in Public Health was presented by Stephen Alder. The graduate certificate, offered through the Division of Public Health and available fall 2012, will require 15 credit hours of coursework in five required classes, which are introductions to basic concepts and an educational experience to complement graduate students pursuing degrees in other disciplines. The certificate will give students the potential to understand the opportunity and connection that public health has in a variety of fields, and will provide local professionals working in the field of public health an opportunity to seek training and certification that will directly impact how they address public health issues in their current profession.
Mike Nelson presented the proposal for combined B.S./M.S. program in Mining. The combined degree will mitigate the “current onerous degree requirements” (128 credit hours for a B.S. degree) as stated in the proposal, which may be one cause for the relatively small number of undergraduate majors. It also will attract practicing engineers who consider the M.S. degree highly desirable. The combined B.S./M.S. degree program will foster undergraduate research and accelerate progress toward the M.S. degree, which is timely and attractive for undergraduate students interested in pursuing employment in the field, or in pursuing research and/or an advanced degree.
The proposal for combined B.S./M.S. program in Geological Engineering was presented by Bill Johnson. The current degree requirements (134 credit hours) for a B.S. degree in geological engineering are considered “stringent” and may be one cause for the relatively small numbers of undergraduate majors. The combined degree program is designed to be completed by students in five years, culminating with simultaneous conferral of the B.S. and M.S. degrees. The program is adapted from an existing program in the College of Engineering in order to build upon the solid foundation established by that program. Students in the combined program would begin their research early and complete advanced level courses during the senior year, accelerating completion of the combined program by a full year relative to enrollment in sequential B.S./M.S. programs. A motion from Thad Hall to approve all three of the above certificate and degree proposals was seconded by Pat Murphy and unanimously passed.
Robert Payne presented Interim Rule R6-404A. A discrimination complaint was filed last year with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) by a non-traditional student who was denied admission to the University. The complaint with OCR was resolved in April 2011 through a Resolution Agreement. As part of the agreement, the U agreed to revise its policy for admission of non-traditional students. The OCR and the U have agreed that the language in Interim Rule R6-404A is acceptable. The interim rule clarifies the policies and procedures for admission of non-traditional applicants to the University of Utah. “Non-Traditional Applicants” includes high school graduates who have been out of high school for seven or more years, and who have not attended a regionally accredited college or university after high school. The new Rule was implemented by President Betz on an Interim basis and now comes to the Senate for ratification, as is required by Policy 1-001. At this time, the U’s Office of Student Affairs is doing background work for a proposal on revising the admissions policy, Policy 6-404, and a first draft of that proposal is expected to be ready to be circulated for discussion this spring. The Executive Committee has recommended, and the administration concurs, that the Senate approve this Rule now as a regular Rule, but impose on it a sunset date which will cause it to expire in summer 2013, doing so with the understanding that the proposal for revising Policy 6-404 will be brought to the Senate prior to that sunset date, and that the contents of the Interim Rule will be integrated into proposal for the revised Policy. A motion was made by Marianna Di Paolo and seconded by Kim Martinez to follow that recommendation, approving new Rule 6-404A to remain in effect until the sunset date of June 30, 2013. The motion passed unanimously.
The Honors Review was presented to the senate by Thomas Richmond. The Senate has reviewed the report of the Undergraduate Council and their review of the Honors College. The Senate agrees that broad participation in the Honors College by tenured and tenure-track faculty is critical to the success of the College. The Undergraduate Council report acknowledges that the College currently does not have adequate support to maintain their current level of tenured faculty participation, but the report does not stipulate how they intend to address this lack of support. A resolution was proposed by Norm Waitzman that the College specifically focus on identifying financial resources that will enable the College to maintain current levels of participation in the College by tenured and tenure-track faculty. This was seconded by Leslie Francis, and passed unanimously.
The meeting adjourned at 4:17 p.m.