ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES
January 4, 2016
Call to Order
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on January 4, 2016, was called to order at 3:05 p.m. by Bill Johnson, Senate President. The meeting was held in HSEB 1730.
Present: Sarah Hinners, Lyda Bigelow, Gary Lowder, Yongmei Ni, Janiece Pompa, Sudeep Kanugo, Edward M. Trujillo, Michael Cottle, Steve Roens, Kelly Bricker, Julie Metos, Les Podlog, James Anderson, Karin Baumgartner, Lex Newman, David Hill, John Bramble, Alicia Brillon, Luke Leither, Jennifer Garvin, Michelle Hofmann, Katherine Kendall, John T. Langell, Antoinette Laskey, William Lowrance, Maureen A. Murtaugh, Christy Porucznik, Ravi Ranjan, Jody Rosenblatt, Debra Simmons, Robert A. Stephenson, Frederick Strathmann, Marjorie Chan, Paul Jewell, Margaret Clayton, Jindrich Kopecek, Linda Tyler, Randy Dryer, Jordan Gerton, David Goldenberg, Joel Miller, Thomas Richmond, John Sperry, David Temme, Andrejs Treibergs, Thomas Cova, Frances Friedrich, Duncan Metcalfe, Wade Cole, Jason Castillo, Mary Beth Vogel-Ferguson, Cindy Chen, John Muhs, Keegan Brown, Gaby Zumaeta, Lori Kowaleski-Jones, Lynn Hollister
Absent: Ole Fischer, Jeff Coles, Scott Schaefer, Melissa Lewis, Jeff Nielsen, Todd Zenger, Olga Baker, Leticia Alvarez, Orly Alter, A.K. Balaji, Robert Hitchcock, Xiaoyue Liu, Meredith Metzger,
Ning Lu, Joe Marotta, Reva Rauk, Lorie Gage Richards, Chrisoula Andreou, Maria Dobozy, Anne Jamison, Adrian Palmer, Robin Craig, Terry Kogan, Jill Moriearty, Nicole Mihalopoulos, Scott T. Youngquist, Mollie Cummins, Andrea Bild, Peter Alfeld, Yekaterina Epshteyn, Dmytro Pesin, Michael Shapiro, Joan Brenner-Coltrain, Nilufer Cagatay, Baodong Liu, Lina Svedin, Norman Waitzman, Patrick Panos, Marley Arango, Daniel Barber, Douglas Chan, Devin Daniels, Conrad Dean, Ambra Jackson, Aubrey Keaney, Jaycee Lynn Christensen, Andy Moyle, Julie Olaf, John Peterson, 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, Ruth Watkins
Excused with Proxy: Joanna Ganning for Brenda Scheer, Proxy for Denny Berry, N. Roy for Stacy Manwaring, Sarah Sinwell for Lien Fan Shen, Hugh Cagle for Nadja Durbach, Tom Shillinger for Disa Gambera, James Pechmann for David Dinter, Proxy for Avery Holton
Excused: Carrie Byington, Vivian S. Lee
Others: Janet Shaw, Dave Kieda, Charlie Hicks-Little
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the Academic Senate on November 30, 2015 were approved without objection.
The current list of appointments and resignations dated January 4, 2016, was approved without objection.
Request for New Business
See below regarding “Open Letter by Educators Against Intolerance.”
Executive Committee Report
Xan Johnson, Senate President-elect, gave an update on the Executive Committee’s activities. He stated that everything the EC reviewed is on the agenda, with the EC’s recommendations.
Report from Administration
President Pershing gave a report on the administration’s activities. He stated that he and Senior VP of Academic Affairs Ruth Watkins will visit the Northwestern Commission on Colleges and Universities, the University of Utah’s accreditation body, next week. They will stand before a group of accreditors and answer questions about the University and its goals. President Pershing also mentioned that the mission statement revision that is on the agenda today was brought forth by the accreditor’s recommendations.
President Pershing mentioned that the University is preparing for the 2016 legislative session. He stated that the state economy is up and that new resources are available for the state, which will benefit the University of Utah as well. Pershing also acknowledged the numerous Martin Luther King Jr celebrations on campus, ranging from a march to panel discussions to a keynote address by Talib Kweli. The administration also highlighted the University of Utah’s wins against Duke in Men’s Basketball and against BYU in the Football Bowl game.
Special Report: Utah Demographics Study
Pam Perlich, Director of Demographic Research at the University’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, gave a presentation about Utah’s changing demographics. There has been a significant cultural and demographic shift in Utah in the past decade. Many of these changes have and will continue to prompt a reevaluation of our idea of society and culture in the state. Since 2010, the population of Utah has surpassed 3 million individuals. In 2010, the census showed that the majority of children in the state were of a minority race. In 2015, millennials officially outnumbered baby boomers.
The economic recession of 2008 sparked a change in the way jobs are created today. Many of the jobs today are either low-wage low-skill jobs with no benefits or they are highly technical jobs. Because of this shift, the middle class as it was known before 2008 has been disappearing.
Women have a historically low fertility rate in the state, meaning women are having fewer children and are putting off having their first child until later in their lives. The median age of the population is decreasing as minority families have more children. Average age of marriage has also increased to 24 years old in Utah, compared to 27 years old across the nation. The traditional Utah family of opposite sex couples with children now only makes up one-third of households in the state.
Many of the changing demographics of Utah are due to three main reasons: the influx of immigrants, the aging of the population, and changing fertility patterns. These three factors have created a drastic generational shift in which multi-cultural individuals and families are more present in Utah. Utah remains a net migration state, where most enter the state for familial, occupational, or educational opportunities. Senators asked for further information about how the University is responding and should respond to the drastic changes in the diversity of the Utah population. A discussion ensued about the appropriate roles of the central administration and the faculty and administration within the various colleges and departments in preparing for a more diverse student body. A request was made and agreed to for further discussion on these issues at an upcoming Senate meeting, and to have Kathryn Stockton, interim Associate VP for Equity and Diversity invited to help lead that discussion.
Professor Hamid Ghandehari brought forth a request for new business. He presented for discussion an “Open Letter by Educators Against Intolerance.” Senators and their constituents are invited to consider joining in this project of opposing a planned new federal law which will restrict immigration visas for scholars visiting the U.S. who are coming from or have citizenship of certain specified nations. It is anticipated that other nations will respond by imposing restrictions on travelers from the U.S. Prof. Ghandehari stated that if allowed to stay in effect, this federal law will seriously hamper scholarly exchanges, and negatively affect important research activities.
Report from ASUU
No report from ASUU
Notice of Intent
No items of intent
Julie Metos presented the proposal for the MS in Nutrition and Integrative Physiology. The proposal comes from the College of Health internal realignment and it is meant to fill the need for undergraduate students who wish to pursue a higher degree at the University of Utah. Motion was made by Randy Dryer and seconded by Duncan Metcalfe to approve the proposal and forward to the Board of Trustees. Motion passed unanimously.
Julie Metos also presented the proposal for the PhD in Nutrition and Integrative Physiology. This proposal also comes out of the College of Health realignment and serves the same student need as the MS. Motion was made by Jody Rosenblatt and seconded by Duncan Metcalfe to approve the proposal and forward to the Board of Trustees. Motion passed unanimously.
Janet Shaw presented the proposal to discontinue the Coaching Teaching Minor. The program required too many resources and was not beneficial to students, as none had been enrolled since 2009. Motion was made by Randy Dryer and seconded by Andrejs Treibergs to approve the proposal and forward to the Board of Trustees. Motion passed unanimously.
Janet Shaw also present the department name change proposal from Exercise and Sport Science to Kinesiology. There has been a national trend since 2006 to use the name Kinesiology because it was recognized as a field of academic study. Motion was made by Andrejs Treibergs and seconded by Lyda Bigelow to approve the proposal and forward to the Board of Trustees. Motion passed unanimously.
Charlie Hicks-Little presented the proposal for an MS in Sports Medicine. He stated that the proposal comes out of student need. Motion was made by Jim Anderson and seconded by Randy Dryer to approve the proposal and forward to the Board of Trustees. Motion passed unanimously.
Lori Kowaleski-Jones presented the proposal for Consolidation of several Majors within the department of Family and Consumer Studies, into one major– Family, Community & Human Development BA/BS. She mentioned that the degree and department are both interdisciplinary, so the consolidation will fully encompass all aspects of the program. Motion was made by Jim Anderson and seconded by Lynn Hollister to approve the proposal and forward to the Board of Trustees. Motion passed unanimously.
Karin Baumgartner presented the department name change proposal, from Languages and Literature, to the Department of World Languages and Culture. She stated that there are two main reasons for the change; the first is that it more accurately describes what the department actually does, and is more in line with the research and teaching the department is already engaged in, and the second is that it is more in line with the U’s global engagement emphasis. Motion was made by Harriet Hopf and seconded by Jim Anderson to approve the proposal and forward to the Board of Trustees. Motion passed unanimously.
Ed Barbanell presented the proposal, coming from the Senate Advisory Committee on Academic Policy, to retire policies 6-103 to 6-115. These policies purport to describe various undergraduate degrees, but the contents are long out of date, coming from an historical era in which new degrees were created by means of enacting a policy, such as these. In recent years, creation of new degrees or changes to existing degrees have not been dealt with through enactment of specific University Policies, such as these, but rather through a different curriculum revision approval process. Therefore, these old policies are both inaccurate (not kept up with subsequent changes to the degrees they refer to), and incomplete (fail to include recently created degrees). Ed stated that the degrees which are treated in these old policies are already covered by the newer curriculum change process, and documented in the online catalogue. So the proposal is to eliminate these policies entirely, and rely on the curriculum approval process (which includes the role of the Senate), and online catalogue as the official means of documenting the creation, change, or elimination of undergraduate degrees. Motion was made by Duncan Metcalfe and seconded by Jim Anderson to approve the proposal and forward to the Board of Trustees. Motion passed unanimously.
On a related matter, Bob Flores joined Ed Barbanell in explaining that this project regarding undergraduate degrees was part of a charge given by Senate Leadership to the Senate Advisory Committee on Academic Policy, and that a similar charge has been given from the Executive Committee for this Advisory Committee to next examine and propose revising of existing policies which purport to govern graduate level degrees. The Committee has already begun working with Dave Kieda, the dean of the Graduate School, to identify needed changes in the relevant policies, which suffer from problems similar to the policies dealt with today. A proposal will be forthcoming.
Information and Recommendations Calendar
The following items were presented for the information and recommendations of the Academic Senate:
- Donna White presented the Report of the 7-year review, by the Graduate Council, of the Department of Education, Culture, and Society. A brief discussion ensued. Bob Flores joined to that discussion further explanation of the 7 year review process, including specifically the focus the University places on a reviewed department’s treatment of diversity of students, faculty and staff. This was tied in to the earlier discussion of how the University can best respond to rapid changes in diversity of the Utah population (See Pam Perlich presentation above). Bob and Assoc. VP Amy Wildermuth pointed out that given the decentralized structure of the University, important efforts for the University responding to an increasingly diverse population must occur within departments–made by the faculty and administrators within their departments and colleges, albeit with guidance and some assistance from central administration, including the Office for Equity and Diversity. Those department-level efforts regarding diversity will then be examined as a normal component of the 7 year periodic review process, as exemplified in today’s report regarding the review of the ECS department (which is reported to have an admirable record regarding diversity, worthy of emulation by other departments).
- The Discontinuation of the National Justice Academy
- The University Mission Statement Revision
- The University Distinguished Teaching Awards
- The November President’s Report
Meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m.