January 12, 2009

Jan 12 2009
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Meeting Minutes


January 12, 2009


Call to Order

The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on January 12, 2009 was called to order at

3: 05 p.m. by Paul A. Mogren, Senate President. The meeting was held in room 115 C. Roland Christensen Center.



Jordan Gerton for David Ailion, Peter Alfeld, Tim Ameel, James Anderson, Richard Barton, Shmuel Baruch, Jun Yang for Paul Bernstein, David Blair, Jennifer Buhler, Connie Bullis, Vincent Cheng, Hiram Chodosh, John Conboy, David Derezotes, Larry DeVries, Nadja Durbach, Eric Eddings, Marlene Egger, Phil Emmi, Cliff Drew for Michael Hardman, Sandra Hasstedt, Greg Hatch, Bob Hill, Vladimir Hlady, Mark Button for Lauren Holland, Harriet Hoph, Garry Hrechkosy, Tom Huckin, James Caitlin, Steve Kern, Thomas Kontuly, Karol Kumpfer, Bruce Landesman, Stephane LeBohec, Edward Levine, Joelle Lien, Janet Lindsley, Karl Lins, Laurence Loeb, Janis Louie, Zheng-Rong Lu, Brad Lundahl, James Metherall, William Michel, Kerry Jacques for Maria Newton, Erin O’Connell, Kevin Perry, David Plumlee, R. Lor Randall, Patrick Reimherr, Steve Reynolds, Rita Reusch, Andrea Rorrer, Nelson Roy, Brock Royall, Donn Schaefer, Bill Schulze, Bam Dev Sharda, James Sibthorp, Randy Silverman, Alec Smith, Ray Beckett for Paula Smith, Josh Solarez, Harris Sondak, Nancy Staggers, Paul Stout, Margaret Toscano, Sharon Weinstein, Adam Wolfe, Nick Wolfinger


Excused:  Jessica Batty, Mariana DiPaolo, Kasi Goodwin, Peter Martin, Mollie Poynton


Ex-officio:  Paul Brinkman, Penny Brooke, Robert Flores, John Francis, James Graves, Annie Nebeker-Christensen, Joyce Ogburn, Susan Olson, Tom Parks, David W. Pershing, Octavio Villalpando, Michael K. Young excused.


Others:  Ann Floor, David Kieda, Nancy Lombardo, Jeff West, Paolo Gondolo, Steve Alder


Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the Academic Senate meeting of December 1 2008 were approved unanimously.


Request for New Business

Tom Parks, Vice President for Research, presented a white paper entitled ‘An Overview of Trends in University Research’. He introduced his presentation indicating that there were three topics he would cover. The first area of research is reputational rankings and objectional rankings. Reputational ranking includes five ranking systems where faculty members are asked about reputations in different departments while objective ranking includes awards, citations, publications, and research funding wherein Utah ranks 79 in the world and 46 in the United States according to Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s ranking. The second area is research trends which includes industry, and Medical Schools who are dependent on NIH funding. Utah’s NIH funding accounts for 54 percent of the University’s total funding. Thirdly, research challenges at Utah. In 2007 research grants accounted for 12% of the university’s budget with approximately 800 PI’s and 1,700 to 1,800 grants being funded. This was a very enlightening paper and well received.


Consent Calendar

The resignations, retirements, faculty appointments, auxiliary, and limited term appointments, appearing in Appendices I dated December 15, 2008 and January 12. 2009 received approval to forward to the Board of Trustees.


Executive Committee Report

James Anderson, Executive Committee Secretary, summarized his written report of the December 15, 2008 Executive Committee meeting.


Report from Administration

Senior Vice President David W. Pershing addressed the Senate on the administration’s strategy to deal with the severe state budget cuts from this year’s legislative session. In addition to the previous 4% budget cut, an additional one-time cut of approximately 7.5% or $19 million is possible this legislative session. He further surmised that the worst-case scenario could add an additional 15% base cut which when added to the 4% base cut totals a year-over-year base cut of 19% or $48 million.

Vice President Pershing informed the Senate that the administration is committed to protecting the university’s core enterprises — to protect our excellence — the best teachers, best researchers, best staff — and the gains made in diversity and sustainability because it would take decades to get that back. He said that “central administration” will lead by example and would be doing that in a transparent way, indicating that the number of vice presidents will be reduced by at least one among other reductions. He also indicated that reorganizations on the academic side will be encouraged if appropriate. There will be no mandated unified approach but the administration will offer maximum flexibility and will work with colleges and departments on an individual basis to address the challenges ahead. An agreement will be reached on what should be reduced and will include a mix of horizontal and vertical cuts. Criteria for cuts will be based on how critical each area is to the university’s operation; the size of its budget (larger entities will have larger cuts); and each area’s ability to help itself while preserving centrality and excellence.

The vice president indicated there may be incentive retirement packages offered to senior faculty over 65 including a medi-gap program to cover the missing piece of health insurance for a period of time. He welcomes suggestions and comments and asked that they be sent to Nancy Lombardo (nancy.lombardo@utah.edu), chair of the Faculty Budget and Planning Committee or directly to him (david.pershing@utah.edu).


Report from ASUU

Patrick Reimherr reported on the on-going activities of ASUU. The senior class president is planning a campus-wide bike program which could transport student across campus. The Academic Affairs board has arranged for the annual Scholarship Fair on January 14 in the Union Ballroom. The Government Relations Board has planned an Inauguration event at Kingsbury Hall on November 20, free to the public however tickets are required. The ASUU/UPC Film Festival will be held in the Union on January 22, and the annual Fall Plazafest fair is planned for January 27 in the Union Patio. ASUU will host the Mountain West Student Leaders Conference tentatively planned for August.


Notice of Intent

There were no items of intent


Debate Calendar

Steve Alder explained that the request for a joint Master of Public Health/Master of Public Policy degree’s intent will take advantage of complimentary elements of the two programs and could eliminate up to 21 credit hours when combined. Students pursuing this degree will acquire the skills needed to conduct effective health policy analysis, understand organizational processes within the health domain, develop policy-based approaches to address issues of public health importance, and translate complex public health policies for the lay audience. A motion from Larry DeVries, seconded by Jim Anderson, to forward to the Board of Trustees for final approval received unanimous approval.


David Kieda and Paolo Gondolo presented the request from the Physics Department to change the name of the department to the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The name change will enhance the program currently gaining more interest and resources and will more accurately reflect the nature of the research, teaching, and outreach. A motion made by Larry DeVries, seconded by Jim Anderson, to forward to the Board of Trustees for final approval received unanimous approval.


Jeff West presented a short synopsis for the request to adapt Rule1-001 which provides details and instructions for implementing the new Policy and Procedures system for development and publication of University Regulations as established under the July 2008 inception of University Policy 1-001. Robert Flores explained that it is one of a series of steps in the restructuring and clarifying the Policy and Procedures. The Institutional Policy Committee has been established so that all policy changes can filter through them before being forwarded to the Senate and other approving boards. Penny Brooke made the motion to accept the rule which was seconded by Jim Anderson and approved unanimously.


Information Items

The President’s Report was provided for the Senate’s information.


New Business

There was no new business.



The meeting adjourned at 4:30 pm.



Respectfully submitted:


Nancy Lines, Secretary to the Faculty