January 6, 2020

Jan 06 2020
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Meeting Minutes



January 6, 2020


The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on January 6, 2020, was called to order at 3:01 pm by Senate President Julio Facelli. The meeting was held in the Moot Courtroom of the Law School.


Present: Alan Abbinanti, Rohit Aggarwal, Sharon Aiken-Wisniewski, AnnaMarie Barnes, Shmuel Baruch, Pinar Bayrak-Toydemir, Gunseli Berik, Kelly Bricker, Kirsten Butcher, Laurel Caryn, Mike Caserta, Divya Chandrasekhar, Promothesh Chatterjee, Thomas Cheatham, Susanna Cohen, Hilary Coon, Amy Cox, Elizabeth Craft, Ann Engar, Diego Fernandez, Candace Floyd, Leslie Francis, Franz Goller, Moira Gray, Gema Guevara, Amos Guiora, Kim Hackford-Peer, Leslie Halpern, Patricia Hanna, Rebecca Hardenbrook, Andrew C. Harris, Bill Hesterly, Christel Hohenegger, John Hollerbach, Christopher Hull, Luis Ibarra, Srikanth Iyengar, Thunder Jalili, R. James Keddington, Anne Kirchhoff, Keith Koper, Kim Korinek, Rich Landward, Dale Larsen, Stephan LeBohec, Lauren Liang, Brad Lundahl, Don Ly, Kelly MacArthur, Danielle Martinez, Maureen Mathison, Staci McIntosh, Damon Ngo, Kathleen Nicoll, Kent Ono, Brandon Patterson, Wanda Pillow, Christina Porucznik, Kalani Raphael, Georgi Rausch, Terry Ring, Frank Sachse, Sonia Salari, Wesley Sasaki-Uemura, Amnon Schlegel, Jon Seger, Varun Selvam, Helene Shugart, Roger Silvers, Debra Simmons, Sara Simonsen, Tim Smith, Brian Snapp, Ryan Steele, Kathryn Stockton, Dustin Stokes, James Sutherland, Thomas Swensen, Joshua Taylor, Alex Terrill, Sylvia Torti, Elpitha Tsoutsounakis, Kent Udell, Hunter Underhill, Daniel Vargo, Jessica Wempen, Julie Wright-Costa, Jaehee Yi, Susan Zickmund, Brandon Zielinski

Excused with proxy: Anne Lair, Rajesh Menon, Jeremy Rosen

Excused: Rima Ajlouni, Annette Fleckenstein, Angela Rasmussen

Absent: Amy Barrios, Devon Cantwell, Shanti Deemyad, Kenneth (Bo) Foreman, Thomas Crane Giamo, Sierra Holmes, Ken Johnson, Connor Leeming, Erik Lehnardt, Gabriel Lozada, Hunter Mansfield, Sharon Mastracci, Dragan Milicic, Krystal Moorman, Khue Nguyen, Rick Paine, Tom Quinn, Jon Rainier, Sara Scholes, Jeff Schwartz, Peyden Shelton, Amrinder Thind, Emily Thomas, Brenda Van Der Wiel, Maria Velasco, Neil Vickers, Feng Zhang

Ex Officio: Randy Dryer, Julio Facelli, Robert Flores, David Hill, Paul Mogren, Sarah Projansky, Daniel Reed, Thomas Richmond, Billinda Tsuya, Ruth Watkins, Jane Laird

The minutes dated December 2, 2019 were approved upon a motion from Tom Richmond and a second by Kent Udell.



Terry Ring’s motion to approve the faculty matters reports passed after a second from Maureen Mathison.



President Ruth Watkins updated the Senate on the hiring of new campus leaders. The new Chief Safety Officer, Marlon C. Lynch, starts February 1st. The new Director of the Natural History Museum of Utah, Jason Cryan, will begin in March, as will the new Chief Sustainability Officer Kerry Case.


There were numerous highlights from the 2019 year, and one that she wanted to speak about was the Huntsman Mental Health Institute gift, as this affects so many on campus and in the state. The gift provides opportunities for faculty, researchers, and students to become involved in integrated research, seed research funds, and steering committees that impact the near-term and long-term plans for the institute.


The President is also pleased that the University of Utah is localizing its talent as a research university to help with urgent societal problems. An example is that of Chris Linger, College of Education faculty member. Chris’s research focus is on intimate partner violence, violence on college campuses, and sexual assault, and she is lending her expertise to the U by providing research-informed advice and workshops about campus safety for women and violence prevention.


SVP Dan Reed then addressed the Senate to help answer the question brought up at a prior Senate meeting about an online learning campus. In short, there is no new mechanism to provide online education, such as a separate online campus, to the process that currently exists. However, he did want to have a conversation about the future of education—its affordability, accessibility, value, and more related items currently being heard in the national social debate about higher education.


One of the first actions taken when he started at the UofU was to create a task force of approximately 75 faculty, staff, and students to look broadly at six areas, one of which is ensuring student success. Of note is that there will be a series of townhalls during the Spring semester presenting the outcomes and ideas that surfaced as part of the taskforce conversations. Examining the increasing rates of student online course participation—locally and nationally– and opportunities offered by online education choices is one key part of this conversation. The University of Utah wants every student who has the capability to succeed at the U to have the opportunity to study at the U; education is a transformative social force. If economic and social barriers to education can be lowered, the University and the state will be in a better position to capitalize on the best resource available, and that is the talent of its people.



The Senate Executive Committee met on December 9, 2019 and approved today’s Senate agenda, reported Senate President-elect Randy Dryer. The Executive Committee had asked some presenters at that meeting to add additional information and clarifications to their documents, and so the Senate is seeing those updated proposals at today’s meeting.


ASUU President Anna Barnes welcomed everyone back to campus after the break. There are several events coming up of interest to the University community and some that offer ways for faculty and staff members to become involved. Among the events highlighted were the ASUU’s annual conference on diverse excellence; students, faculty, and staff can apply to host workshops on diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice. ASUU elections are also coming up, as is student representation and lobbying for student issues and initiatives at the 2020 Utah legislative session.


There were no items for the Notice of Intent Calendar



Moving Expense Policies Revisions

Laura Howat, Interim Associate VP for Finance and Business, and Wendy Peterson, Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer, gave a summary of the proposed policy revision for how moving expenses will be paid and accounted for, currently and in the future. This item appeared on the previous month’s Intent Calendar, and returns this month on the Debate Calendar. Federal laws concerning the tax treatment of employee moving expense reimbursements­–now deemed taxable income to the recipient–changed effective January 2018. The University’s current moving expense policy is thus outdated. The aim of the proposed revisions is to delete the current outdated policy, Policy 3-032, and replace that with official Guidelines that are attached to the Compensation Policy 5-403. The reason to replace policy with guidelines is to make the procedure more flexible and responsive to local and federal law revisions. The amount of reimbursement provided to an employee is at the department’s discretion and comes out of department budget. Payroll will now manage the reimbursement payment and tax withholding. This proposal was approved by the Senate after a motion from Pat Hanna and a second from James Sutherland.


Veteran Studies Certificate
Martha Bradley-Evans, SAVP of Academic Affairs & Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and Paul Morgan, Veterans Support Center Director, presented a program proposal hosted by undergraduate studies that would lead to an undergraduate Certificate of Veterans Studies. The University’s mission includes preparing students from diverse backgrounds for lives with impact as leaders and citizens and engaging local and global communities’ programs to promote health, education, and quality of life. The Veterans Studies Certificate supports that mission by providing students with a foundation of knowledge that will enable them to better serve veterans in their communities, workplaces, and care facilities. By understanding military veteran history, plus culture, and social issues, students in psychology, social work, human services, business, and countless other areas can better connect veterans.

The certificate requires 24 credit hours covering four themes: Government & National Security; History of War & Violent Conflict; Social/Ethical Aspect of War; and Social & Health Topics. Curricular review will also be done after one year by its curriculum management board. Martha also thanked Paul for his leadership and service to veteran-students and veterans’ issues on campus. This proposal was approved after a motion from Kelly MacArthur and a second from Amos Guiora.


Name Change of MST in Computational Science to MST in Computational and Data Science
Ray Hoobler, Director of the Professional Master of Science and Technology (PMST) program, explained that this interdisciplinary program is managed out of the graduate school and currently includes five tracks: Biotechnology, Computational Science, Earth Resource Management, Environmental Science, and Science Instrumentation. The proposal before the Senate seeks to change the name of the Computational Science degree track to Computational and Data Science. A name change that now includes the term “Data Science” will allow the PMST program to more effectively attract scientists and engineers who are looking to expand their knowledge and develop the skills needed to work in the broad field of data science. The proposed name change has proved to be successful in increasing student interest and is unanimously supported by the program’s executive committee, which includes tenured faculty from departments of Math, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, and Mining Engineering as well as the Dean of the Graduate School. In addition, Associate Professor Jeff Philips and Professor Ross Whitaker from the School of Computing provided input to align the PMST program of study with that department’s graduate certificate program in Data Science. Terry Ring’s motion to approve this proposal passed after a second from Kent Udell.

Interdisciplinary Certificate in Pacific Island Studies
Pacific Island Studies Director Hokualani Aikau gave background on the proposed undergraduate Interdisciplinary Certificate in Pacific Island Studies. Sponsored by School of Cultural and Social Transformation, the certificate offers an interdisciplinary specialization in Pacific Island studies and focuses on integrated learning and critical thinking. The Certificate will provide formal recognition of concentrated coursework and proficiency in the geography, history, culture, politics, and contemporary concerns of the Indigenous Pacific and the global Pacific Islander diaspora. This 18-credit undergraduate certificate is comprised of three courses (9 credit hours) offered by the two Divisions within the School for Cultural and Social Transformation and three courses (9 credit hours) taught by affiliated colleges and departments.

Another aim is to create a structured, yet flexible, coherent program that is attractive to students from Pacific Island cultures and create additional pathways for students coming in from the Salt Lake Community College. Reflection and assessment will continue to assist in improving and expanding this course of study. Kalani Raphael’s motion to approve the proposal was passed by the Senate after a second from Leslie Francis.

Name Change of Graduate Certificate in Big Data to Data Science
Because the Senate meeting had progressed so quickly, Senate President Julio Facelli stood in for presenter Jeff Phillips, Associate Professor in the School of Computing, and briefly explained the program name change proposal before the Senate. In the years since this graduate certificate was created in 2014, the nomenclature in the field concerned with analysis and management of data has solidified around using the term “Data Science” to denote this area of study. The School of Computing is then proposing this name change to be more consistent with the other academic programs in the field. James Sutherland moved to approve this name change and the motion was seconded by Terry Ring. The motion passed.




Emphases in (1) Global Health and (2) Community Health in Master of Public Health
Christy Porucznik, Director of Graduate Studies for the Master of Public Health described two new emphases for the existing general MPH program. There is a student demand for the emphases of global health and community health. These concentrations will allow students to develop specialized skills and knowledge that are formally documented and recognized by the industry. Both concentrations include three foundational courses and two focused electives in addition to the required MPH courses. New courses will be added as faculty capacity allows.

Distinguished Teaching Awards
Julio Facelli reviewed the University Teaching Committee memorandum naming the 2019-20 University Distinguished Teaching Award winners, and congratulated Kristine Jordan, Matt Basso, Beth Krensky, Anthony Butterfield, Kelly MacArthur for these awards.

Update on UCFSL Proposal for Faculty Representation on Board of Regents (BOR)
The statewide oversight body of higher education in Utah is currently the Board of Regents (BOR), overseeing the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE). The UofU is just one of the institutions in this statewide system. Bob Flores explained that the way the Utah BOR is currently structured omits representation of faculty from Utah institutions in this body. Julio Facelli discussed a draft white paper developed by members of the Utah Council of Faculty Senate Leadership (UCFSL) that identifies beneficial reasons to include faculty representation on the BOR. UCFSL and many USHE institution presidents support having faculty perspective, input, and involvement in state-level discussions, believing this would be an effective and appropriate addition.

Bob clarified that currently the ASUU President has a voting role on the UofU Board of trustees, and the Academic Senate President has non-voting input on behalf of the Academic Senate constituency. If the Senate is interested in asking for a law change that creates a faculty voting position on the Board of Regents, a good time to pursue this is now because the Utah legislature is looking at some major restructuring of the higher education system currently. Maureen Mathison motioned to approve a Uof U Academic Senate resolution that endorses creating a voting faculty member position on the Board of Regents or its equivalent depending on any Utah state law revisions. This motion was seconded by Amos Guiora and passed. President Julio Facelli said he would then move forward with this Academic Senate resolution.

SVP Dan Reed explained that there are complex policies and regional interests being addressed at the legislature discussion, some of which are duplication of programs and quality cross-coordination across the state. The process is very fluid right now, and the administration will be watching how the structure of state-wide higher education oversight bodies, possibly with technical education institutions included, will evolve.

There was no new business offered for this meeting


No items for discussion were put forward


Meeting adjourned at 4:21 pm.