January 8, 2024

Jan 08 2024
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Meeting Minutes



January 8, 2024


  1. CALL TO ORDER AND Announcements
    The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on January 8, 2024, was called to order at 3:00 pm by Senate President Shanti Deemyad. The meeting was held using the Zoom online meeting platform.


Present: Michael Abrahamson, Andrew Anderson, Jensie Anderson, Yoshimi Anzai, Ademuyiwa Aromolaran, Pinar Bayrak-Toydemir, Erin Beeghly, James Bekker, Melissa Bobick, Kenneth Bromberg, Jen Brown, Timothy Brusseau, Marc Calaf, Robert Campbell, Marjorie Castle, Jon Chaika, Doug Christensen, Kevin Coe, Katharine Coles, Frank Drews, Nanette Dudley, Katie Durante, Jada Easterly, Atif Ellahie, Zhigang (Zak) Fang, Noreen Farley, Stacy Firth, Rick Forster, Julia Franklin, Gina Frey, Jesse Graham, Eric Handman, Rachel Hayes-Harb, Kerry Herman, Heather Holmes, Rory Hume, Jack Israelsen, Bryan Jones, Jay Jordan, Seijin Kim, Lindsey Kisielewski, Kai Kuck, Shelley Lawrence, Mark Loewen, Alysse Loomis, Janis Louie, Sarah Lucas, Stacy Manwaring, Nancy McLaughlin, Huong Meeks, Brent Milne, Meeyoung Min, Spencer Mukai, Anna Neatrour, Will Nesse, Curtis Newbold, Dave Norwood, Jack O’Leary, Yihui Pan, Patrick Panos, Kevin Perry, Lynn Reinke, Lorie Richards, Alessandro Rigolon, Hollis Robbins, Carol Sansone, Naomi Schlesinger, Paul Shami, Chris Simon, Jamesina  Simpson, Paula Smith, Ginger Smoak, Wayne Springer, Talea Steele, Sondra Stegenga , Caroline Stephens, Casey Tak, Abigail Taylor, Patrick Tripeny, Hannah Truax, Jessica Van Der Volgen, Jim VanDerslice, Margaret Wan, Roseanne Warren, Peter West, Jennifer Williams, Mia Woychick, Zhou Yu, Kilo Zamora

Excused with substitute: Lela Graybill, Tucker Hermans, Susie Porter

Excused: Youjeong Kang, Maggie Tesch

Absent: Rohit Aggarwal, Lourdes Alberto, Lillian Ault, Adrian Bell, Bryan Bonner, Luca Brunelli, Sarah Bush, Cate Carson, Korkut Erturk, Andrea Garcia, William Holland, Martin Horvath, Sarang Joshi, Feng Liu, ShawnaKim Lowey-Ball, Eugene Mishchenko, Austin Neff, Wayne Potts, Anna Roelofs, Savannah Romney, Nathan Seegert, Matt Tokson, David Turok, Samantha Watrin, Melodie Weller, Jaclyn Winter, Julie Wright-Costa

Ex Officio: Mike Braak, Shanti Deemyad, Angie Fagerlin, Harriet Hopf, Michael Good, Savannah Manwill, Paul Mogren, Mitzi Montoya, Sarah Projansky, Sonia Salari, David Thomas, Jane Laird



Shanti Deemyad announced that the December 15th Senate Social was a success and directed attention to the event photos compiled by Senate Operations Program Manager Mike Braak and posted with the meeting materials.


    The minutes dated December 4, 2023, were approved upon a motion from James Bekker and a second from Katherine Coles. There were 6 abstentions.



Senate President Deemyad said that there had been a request to add a discussion on some faculty members’ concerns about administration’s handling of recent student protests. That topic will be addressed during the New Business part of the agenda.



Senate President Shanti Deemyad noted the items on the meeting’s Consent Calendar:

  1. Faculty Matters Report Review
  2. 2023-24 Distinguished Teaching Awards
  3. Policy 6-304: UPTAC Updates
  4. Policy 6-300: Distinguished Professor Selection Process Update
  5. Policy 6-002: Senate Apportionment Updates

Shanti congratulated the individual nominees for the 2023-24 Distinguished Teaching Awards and briefly summarized each of the policy updates listed. The Consent Calendar items were approved after a motion from Sonia Salari and a second from Harriet Hopf.




Report from Administration

SVP Mitzi Montoya congratulated the nominees of the 2023-2024 Distinguished Teaching Awards, as well as those recently selected for the Presidential Scholar Award. UofU administration will be working during the upcoming legislative session on priorities including compensation, building funding, the life sciences initiative, and others. SVP Michael Good updated the Senate on the recent health sciences annual strategic planning retreat and ongoing progress of new medical school building. Monica M. Bertagnolli, Utah alumnus and new Director of the National Institute of Health, will the Medical School commencement speaker this year.


SVP Montoya notified the Senate of a directive, effective immediately, from the Utah Board of Higher Education to eliminate equity, diversity, and inclusion statements as part of hiring processes at Utah public degree-awarding institutions. University administration will work with legal counsel and policy teams to ensure the directive is met, and AVPs Projansky and Fagerlin are compiling a FAQ to address the questions that the university community has raised. Senators also expressed observations and concerns about the directive and any possible additional future policy changes that could undermine the university’s goals in those areas. SVP Montoya explained that the University maintains its commitment to ensuring student well-being and education. Leaders will comply with this and other directives and continue to cultivate a respectful campus culture, which remains a priority. She noted that UofU administration will continue to communicate with the community and the Senate during the adoption process. Shanti Deemyad added that Senators can directly contact their elected officials with concerns also. If that is done, it should be as a private citizen and not as a university representative.


Report from ASUU

ASUU President Jack O’Leary shared updates on the status of the ASUU elections, running from January 29th through the end of February. Other updates include remaining ASUU Senate Legislative sessions and the Spring Grand Kerfuffle concert.


Executive Committee Report

Senate President-elect Harriet Hopf outlined the items on today’s agenda that were determined by the Senate Executive Committee at its December 11th meeting.



There were no items for the Intent Calendar




New Certificate: Medical Products Regulatory Affairs            

David Grainger, Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Tomasz Petelenz, Associate Professor (Lecturer), walked through the content and goals of a proposed new undergraduate certificate program in Medical Products Regulatory Affairs. David noted the similarity between this certificate and the graduate certificate that was approved by the Senate in December and emphasized the importance of remaining competitive with peer institutions across the country and addressing industry demand. The proposed regulatory affairs program will provide students with a solid foundation and skills in medical device, drug, biologic, and combination product regulations in the United States and other areas of the world. After a second from Douglas Christensen, Rory Hume’s motion to approve the proposal passed.             


Academic Unit Change-Transfer to New Unit: Division of Games to CAP

The Division of Games, currently housed in the Price College of Engineering (PCE), proposes to move to the College of Architecture and Planning (CAP). CAP Dean Arnab Chakraborty and Michael Young, Chair of Division of Games, explained that this move will change the reporting structure without any modifications to existing academic offerings, faculty, staff, personnel, or facilities. The request is motivated by the Division’s growth as a national leader in the emerging discipline of games through its engagement with the breadth of contributing disciplines that advance the scholarly, academic, and industrial progression of games worldwide. The change in reporting structure will benefit the units involved. Rory Hume’s motion to approve the proposed transfer passed after a second from Sarah Lucas. There were 2 abstentions.




Athletics Compliance Report

Jason Greco, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance, presented the annual Athletics Compliance Report and explained that the Athletics Compliance Office has four full-time staff and will be hiring a fifth member soon. Also joining was the Faculty Athletic Representative Jason Burrow-Sanchez. Jason Greco elaborated on the work his office does with coaches, staff, athletes, and outside stakeholders including the processes that have been implemented for education and outreach related to the transfer portal, NIL rights, and other rapidly changing issues in college athletics.


Chief Safety Officer Annual Senate Report

Executive Officer Major Heather Sturzenegger presented the Chief Safety Officer (CSO) Annual Senate Report as a substitute for the CSO Keith Squires, who could not attend due to an emergency. She shared details from the report and presentation slides, including distinguishing the number of arrests and citations between visitors from off-campus compared with those from on-campus, such students, faculty, and staff.  Also reviewed were Clery reporting requirements and the information made available on the UofU public safety dashboard at https://publicsafety.utah.edu/university-safety-dashboards/. Other highlights included Safety Office campus engagement efforts such as the Public Safety Advisory Committee, Student Advisory Committee, a Campus Safety Summit, and ongoing website and communication enhancements. Two victim advocates worked on 149 cases this year along with contributing to the Behavioral Intervention Team, the SLC Sexual Assault Response Team, and the DA’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Taskforce. In response to comments about the difficulty with monitoring and enforcing sidewalk speed limits for skateboards, scooters, and bicycles, she explained that the current approach is to begin with education and outreach.


Senators brought up the issue of arrest documentation requirements that include reporting demographics such as race. Discussion centered on how data like that can be either flawed or misused, in addition to the possible benefits of collecting it to be able to identify disproportionate response trends. CFO Cathy Anderson suggested that the CSO office return to the Senate with specifics on reporting requirements to which it must adhere due to local, state, and federal statutes. Major Sturzenegger and Senate President Deemyad agreed to follow up on this suggestion and report back to the Senate.


Reports and Information

Senate President Deemyad reviewed the following informational reports posted for this meeting:

  1. New Emphases to 3 Existing Degrees: Occupational Health Psychology
  • Master of Science
  • Master of Occupational Health
  • PhD
  1. New Emphasis to an Existing Degree: Mining Safety
  • Academic Senate BoT Report Dec 2023
  1. President BoT Report Dec 2023



The Senate President received a request for a presentation on faculty concerns regarding the university’s handling of student activities in the wake of recent student protests on campus. Two faculty members, Maile Arvin and Matt Basso, presented a letter signed by several colleagues, expressing apprehensions about the final outcomes of the situation. The faculty letter asserted that the university, an educational institution, did not seem to address the situation with an educational approach, hindering the balanced protection of free speech. This approach, they argued, resulted in adverse consequences for both students and MeChA student groups.


Discussions ensued among Senators and administration members covering the circumstances surrounding the situation, the alleged student misbehavior, and the resulting consequences. SVPAA Montoya shared information about the university’s efforts to educate students about freedom of expression and free speech, and she also mentioned current initiatives aimed at guiding the institution through conflicting ideas. Some Senators expressed concerns about lingering questions that had not been addressed and requested further information. They urged a follow-up and formation of an ad-hoc committee to delve into the specifics of the situation and how the university had managed it, facilitating an informed continuation of the conversation.     



There was no Open Discussion at this meeting


    Meeting adjourned at 5:02 pm.