February 6, 2023
- CALL TO ORDER AND Announcements
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on February 6, 2023, was called to order at 3:00 pm by Senate President Sonia Salari. As had been announced on the Senate website and by email, this meeting was held using the Zoom online meeting platform. Attendance was confirmed by requiring Senate members (and invited guests and public attendees) to register in advance for the online meeting.
Present: Michael Abrahamson, Soheila Amirsoleimani, Andrew Anderson, Steven Bartlett, Michael Battistone, Pinar Bayrak-Toydemir, Adrian Bell, Matthew Bettini, Melissa Bobick, David Bowling, Simon Brewer, Jonathan Brogaard, Kenneth Bromberg, Jen Brown, Jessica Brown, Richard Brown, Luca Brunelli, Timothy Brusseau, Jon Chaika, Owen Chan, Holden Cheney, Gerald Cochran, Kevin Coe, Frank Drews, Nanette Dudley, Katie Durante, Nadja Durbach, Atif Ellahie, Melinda Fagan, Zak Fang, Stacy Firth, Julia Franklin, Gina Frey, Manu Goyal, Jesse Graham, Lela Graybill, Amos Guiora, Sara Hart, Tucker Hermans, Anna Hodgson, William Holland, Heather Holmes, Harriet Hopf, Howard Horwitz, Rory Hume, Susan Johnston, Bryan Jones, Jay Jordan, Sam Judd, Youjeong Kang, Srabani Karmakar, James Karner, Seth Keeton, Sejin Kim, Kai Kuck, Audrey Laney, Shelley Lawrence, John Lin, Jack Longino, Alysse Loomis, Janis Louie, Benvin Lozada, Sarah Lucas, Kate Lunnen, Stacy Manwaring, Nancy McLaughlin, Meeyoung Min, Ed Muñoz, AJ Myers, Anna Neatrour, Will Nesse, Dave Norwood, Adrian Palmer, Robert Parker, Karina Perez, Alek Peterlin, Susie Porter, Codrina Rada, Sean Redmond, Alessandro Rigolon, Ofer Rog, Carol Sansone, Nathan Seegert, Paul Shami, Xiaoming Sheng, Chris Simon, Jamesina Simpson, Wayne Springer, Casey Tak, Anthony Tenney, Maggie Tesch, Patrick Tripeny, Jessica Van Der Volgen, Jim VanDerslice, Seetha Veeraghanta, Muskan Walia, Ryan Walker, Jennifer Watt, Melodie Weller, Peter West, Jaclyn Winter, Zhou Yu
Excused with substitute: James Bekker, Alyssa Lee, Yihui Pan, Sondra Stegenga
Absent: Yoshimi Anzai, Marc Calaf, Lizabeth Cowgill, Janice Darko, Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, Eric Handman, Titus Larrieu, Feng Liu, Frank McAlpin, Mikaila McIntyre, Eugene Mishchenko, Matt Tokson, Kilo Zamora
Ex Officio: Mike Braak, Shanti Deemyad, Robert Fujinami, Savannah Manwill, Allyson Mower, Christina Porucznik, Sarah Projansky, Lisa Rigtrup, Sonia Salari, Mitzi Montoya, Jane Laird
Senate President Sonia Salari explained that the Undue Influence policy that had been previously presented to the Senate has been withdrawn and will come back later after some reworking aimed at expanding its coverage. Slides of the successful Senate Bowling Social held in January were shared and Sonia explained it had been a very fun event. Allyson Mower will be acting Parliamentarian during the meeting, substituting for Paul Mogren.
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes dated January 9, 2023, were approved upon a motion from Tucker Hermans and a second from Shanti Deemyad. There were 2 abstentions.
- REQUEST FOR NEW BUSINESS
There were no requests for New Business
- CONSENT CALENDAR
Senate President Salari identified the items on the meeting’s Consent Calendar:
- Faculty Appointments
- Teaching Awards
- Park Fellowship Awards
Udita Gupta, Associate Professor, Urban Institute for Teacher Education
Christopher Mead, Associate Professor (Lecturer), Honors College
- Community Engaged Teaching and Scholarship Award
Aaron Fischer, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology
- Hatch Prize in Teaching
Kenneth Golden, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics
- Policy 7-001 Revisions
All items on the Consent Calendar were approved after a motion from Harriet Hopf and a second from Jen Brown.
Report from Administration
SVP Academic Affairs Mitzi Montoya explained that the university administration had decided to expand the Undue Influence Policy proposal, discussed at the previous Senate meeting, so that it is more comprehensive. It will come back to the Senate when ready. The Senate will discuss, at this meeting, the recommended changes to the General Education and Baccalaureate Degree Requirements, and she thanked all who had contributed to that project. She shared notable university announcements and reminded faculty of the upcoming Day of Collective Action and Black History month events. In response to Tucker Hermans’ question, she will study the issues raised concerning opaque rules and communications about student disenrollment and offer possible remedies.
Executive Committee Report
Senate President-elect Shanti Deemyad summarized the disposition of the items presented at the Senate Executive Committee January 23 meeting, outlining the matters placed on the Consent, Intent, Information, and Debate calendars.
Report from ASUU
ASUU VP Benvin Lozada noted that ASUU elections have started. He highlighted upcoming ASUU programming including the mental health benefit concert, the student advocacy event in partnership with the Hinckley Institute, and Earth Week. ASUU Senate Chair Muskan Walia updated the Senate about other ASUU legislative initiatives and resolutions.
- NOTICE OF INTENT CALENDAR
There were no items for the Notice of Intent Calendar
- DEBATE CALENDAR
New Academic Unit: Division of Quantitative Analysis of Markets and Organizations
Department of Finance faculty member Scott Schaefer introduced a proposal for a new division that will reorganize the existing Quantitative Analysis of Markets and Organizations (QAMO) undergraduate program faculty into a free-standing academic unit within the David Eccles School of Business. The program is currently housed in the Finance Department. Because the QAMO faculty size has grown to 9 members, a critical mass, one institutional benefit will be to provide hiring and RPT autonomy because there is sufficient differentiation between QAMO/business economics and finance studies. This structural change will provide a foundation for further faculty development and hiring. The proposal makes no changes to existing programs, funding, or with current QAMO collaborations with the Economics Department and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. There continues to be a clear differentiation between QAMO studies and Economics Department courses and faculty. The proposal includes letters of support from the Economics Department Chair and a signed MOU with that department and its chair. In response to faculty concerns about ensuring the Economics Department’s approval of this restructure, Economics faculty member Codrina Rada explained the importance of adhering to the MOU. She indicated that she looks forward to continuing this collaboration between QAMO studies and the College of Social Sciences. Nathan Seegert’s motion, seconded by Shanti Deemyad, to approve the proposal passed with 7 abstentions.
Recommended Changes to the General Education and Baccalaureate Degree Requirements
Chase Hagood, SAVPAA and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and Karen Paisley, Undergraduate Council Chair, explained that the new General Education Core and Breadth Area (GE) and Baccalaureate Degree (BD) requirements proposal was approved by the Undergraduate Council in December. Chase highlighted some key changes from the current requirements and noted that the General Education Curriculum Committee (GECC) had been tasked to think holistically about GE/BD requirements revision because the current system dates to 1998. He summarized the desired outcomes including the benefits to historically under-resourced students, the opportunities that come from experiential learning, and closer alignment with USHE peers. He explained that the proposal does not jeopardize funding for departments, programs, colleges or schools regarding general education under the current and any future budget model.
Karen noted the history of the revision’s consultation with campus stakeholders and its wide endorsement from academic areas and students. For example, ASUU submitted a letter of support and her office had scheduled discussion townhalls just for Senate members prior to presenting to the Senate. An initial, phased implementation is expected to begin in the Fall Semester of 2024, holding current students harmless and giving them options to participate at that time or hold off until 2029. The presenters offered more clarifications during the discussion period. After a second from Benvin Lozada, Muskan Walia’s motion to approve the proposal passed with 2 opposed.
- INFORMATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS CALENDAR
Emphasis Name Change: Educational Psychology MEd & PhD
The Director the Reading and Literacy program, Seung-Hee Claire Son, explained that the Educational Psychology Department proposes renaming the emphases of its Master of Education: Educational Psychology – Reading and Literacy and its PhD: Educational Psychology – Reading and Literacy. The new titles are Master of Education: Educational Psychology – Literacy Education and PhD: Educational Psychology – Literacy, Language, and Learning. The reason for these updated titles is to accurately reflect the current status of the field of literacy. Claire noted that there will be no other curriculum and budget changes to the program. [Note this presentation was offered earlier in the meeting to accommodate the presenter’s schedule.]
Senate Personnel and Elections Committee Senate Updates
Dale Larsen, Chair of the Senate Personnel and Elections Committee (SPEC), outlined the relevance of faculty governance to academic freedom in the history of education and the institution, then walked through the upcoming timelines for faculty nominations for the Senate, senate committees, and university committees. He explained the role of SPEC and highlighted the importance of representation from all colleges on these campus-wide committees. He plans to report to the Senate the university-wide nominations and elections activities on a monthly basis during the spring term.
Senate Leadership 2023-2024: Senate President-elect and Executive Committee Members
Senate President Sonia Salari and Senate Policy Liaison Allyson Mower explained what running for 2023-24 Senate leadership positions entailed. Those positions include 12 voting seats on the Senate Executive Committee and one vacancy for Senate President-elect. A Senate presentation outlined what current members of the Senate Executive Committee valued most by being a part of Senate leadership. They also walked through the time commitment and compensation for those who win the Senate President-elect election. Anyone interested in running for these positions can contact them for more insight and information.
Graduate Council 7-Year Reviews: Chemical Engineering
Associate Dean of the Graduate School Katie Ullman summarized the Graduate Council 7-year review of the Chemical Engineering Department. The department was commended for its commitment to undergraduate education through creative programs, high-quality laboratory experiences, and a strong sense of inclusion among the student body. Recommendations included developing a strategic plan for research and hiring, improving its visibility, and increasing student recruitment in tandem with ongoing DEI efforts.
Teaching Excellence Working Group
Jim Agutter, member of the Teaching Excellence Framework Working Group assembled by Interim SVP Teasley, presented materials developed by the Group in its task of examining and developing recommendations that address contemporary issues concerning teaching assessment practices. In general, universities over-rely on student assessment measures. The Working Group members are currently meeting with university stakeholders and academic programs to gather feedback and suggestions aimed at developing a report recommending semi-standard tools of student assessment, peer review and self-reflection at the UofU. To meet that goal, he explained that there are benefits to balancing best practices with individual college specifications.
He noted that teaching evaluations tie into establishing a foundational definition of what teaching excellence is at the UofU. With collaboration with colleagues at other institutions, a draft teaching excellence framework and strategy plan has been developed. After reviewing a draft examining different dimensions of what teaching excellence is, Jim asked for feedback on good next directions and things to keep in mind as the Group continues its work. Discussion included the role of peer review in RPT processes and the nature of self-reflection including instructors’ teaching philosophies. He asked that faculty members send him their feedback and suggestions.
Budget Model Update
Jason Atuaia, Interim AVP Budget and Finance, attended to address faculty questions about upcoming changes to the budget model—the system used to allocate annual budgets to university colleges, schools, and other academic areas. The budget model will not change this or next academic year and, when it does in the future, it will be after getting feedback and review of the relevant factors. Also, any model changes will focus on the President’s goals for enrollments, research, and service. Right now, faculty and student feedback and questions on budget allocations should be sent to their respective deans. During discussion, faculty members mentioned important considerations that they would like to include in the decision process such as faculty participation, the issues of double majors, and balancing research and teaching. Senators also added concerns about increasing the size of the student body while ensuring the university infrastructure can effectively and fairly meet student needs during this growth. Jason agreed with the Senators’ concerns and will continue to work with the Senate as plans develop.
Policy 6-321 Revision: Formation of a committee
AVP for Faculty Sarah Projansky, collaborating with AVP Health Sciences Bob Fujinami, will form an ad hoc committee to review Policy 6-321: Tenured Faculty Reviews. The review will need to include health sciences faculty feedback. Those interested in providing faculty input or participate on the committee can contact her. Examples of the concerns with the current policy include noting that compensation increases sometimes do not come from a Tenured Faculty Review (TFR) process, and that chairs and deans have no substantive role in the proceedings of TFR committees. She will continue to update the Senate on this review’s progress.
- NEW BUSINESS
There was no new business offered at this meeting.
- OPEN DISCUSSION
Senator Seetha Veeraghanta continued the previous conversation regarding the balancing of growing the student population and ensuring increased resources to support that population increase. She noted issues about food service, student housing and other critical campus infrastructure that support students in their academic experience. Senate Policy Liaison Allyson Mower suggested the request to have discussions on this topic be developed into a formal motion that this topic be assigned to a Senate committee, such as the Senate Advisory Committee on University Strategic Planning. Shelly Lawrence moved to initiate a conversation about ensuring that an increased student population is met with increased university infrastructure resources that support that growth in an equitable way to all students. The discussion would possibly be first assigned to the appropriate Senate committee. After a second from Jay Jordan, the motion passed with 1 abstention. Senate President Salari stated that she would follow up on this approved motion.
Meeting adjourned at 5:29 pm.