March 14, 2022

Mar 14 2022
View Agenda

Meeting Minutes



March 14, 2022

    The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on March 14, 2022, was called to order at 3:01 pm by Senate President Christy Porucznik. As had been announced on the Senate website and by email, this meeting was held using the Zoom online meeting platform due to COVID-19 pandemic conditions. Attendance was confirmed by requiring Senate members (and invited guests and public attendees) to register in advance for the online meeting.


Present: Michael Abrahamson, Serena Aeschilman, Sharon Aiken-Wisniewski, Soheila Amirsoleimani, Yoshimi Anzai, Gloria Aquino, Michael Battistone, Erin Beeghly, Matthew Bettini, Melissa Bobick, Robert Bowles, David Bowling, Simon Brewer, Jonathan Brogaard, Kenneth Bromberg, Jen Brown, Jessica Brown, Richard Brown, Luca Brunelli, Juliet Carlisle, Adrienne Cataxinos, Owen Chan, Thomas Cheatham, Gerald Cochran, Sarah Creem-Regehr, Stuart Culver, Shanti Deemyad, Nadja Durbach, Stacy Firth, Annette Fleckenstein, Sydney Gilliand, Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, Manu Goyal, Amos Guiora, Eric Handman, Bill Hesterly, Anna Hodgson, John Hollerbach, Harriet Hopf, Howard Horwitz, Alexander Hyres, Luis Ibarra, Thunder Jalili, Jay Jordan, James Karner, R. James Keddington, Seth Keeton, Matti Koenig, Keith Koper, Titus Larrieu, Mike Lewis, John Lin, Shane Lloyd, Kerry Lohmeier, Jack Longino, Gabriel Lozada, Robin Marcus, Frank McAlpin, Staci McIntosh, Nancy McLaughlin, Rajesh Menon, Eugene Mishchenko, Ed Muñoz, Anna Neatrour, Kent Ono, Adrian Palmer, Marcel Paret, Robert Parker, Jeff Pettey, Susie Porter, Tom Quinn, Emi Radetich, Kevin Rathunde, Sean Redmond, Alessandro Rigolon, Ofer Rog, Alan Rogers, Paul Shami, Xiaoming Sheng, Doug Shumway, Momina Sial, Roger Silvers, Robert Smith, Tim Smith, Brian Snapp, Taylor Sparks, Ryan Steele, Sondra Stegenga, Dave Symons, Nick Tygesen , Hunter Underhill, Jessica Van Der Volgen, Daniel Vargo, Seetha Veeraghanta, Muskan Walia, Maeve Wall, Crystal Wallenius, Peter West, Jaclyn Winter, Jessica Wojciechowski, Jaehee Yi, Susan Zickmund, Brandon Zielinski

Excused with substitute: Gina Frey, Sara Hart

Absent: Rohit Aggarwal, Promothesh Chatterjee, Holden Cheney, Hilary Coon, Bradley Hunter, Srikanth Iyengar, Jeremiah Jaggers, Youjeong Kang, Audrey Laney, Lakshan Lingam, Kelly MacArthur, Jeff Schwartz, Maggie Tesch, Kent Udell, Melodie Weller, Shundana Yusaf , Kilo Zamora

Ex Officio: Randy Dryer, Robert Fujinami, Taylor Gregory, Lisa Hutton, Paul Mogren, Allyson Mower, Christina Porucznik, Sarah Projansky, Taylor Randall, Martell Teasley, Sonia Salari, Jo Scofield, Jane Laird


    The minutes dated February 7, 2022, were approved upon a motion from Shanti Deemyad and a second from Sonia Salari.



Senator Gabriel Lozada asked to present a slide set, “Proposed Improvements to the U’s Retirement Program,” to the Senate. This item was placed on Senate New Business later in the meeting.



Senate President Christy Porucznik introduced the Senate Consent Calendar items. There was a request for a program name change for the TRUE certificate. She also congratulated the nominees for the 2022 Early Career Teaching Awards and the Distinguished Professor appointments and asked for Senate approval for the following nominations.


Early Career Teaching Awards 2022 nominations forwarded by the University Teaching Committee:

  • David Carter
  • ShawnaKim Lowey-Ball
  • Rodrigo Noriega
  • Natasha Seegert
  • Jaclyn Wright
  • Gail Zasowski


Faculty members recommended by the Distinguished Professor Advisory Committee for appointment as University of Utah Distinguished Professors:

  • Lisa Diamond, Division of Gender Studies and Department of Psychology
  • Julio Facelli, Department of Biomedical Informatics
  • Feng Liu, Department of Materials Science & Engineering
  • Shelley Minteer, Department of Chemistry
  • Isabel Moreira, Department of History
  • Scott Summers, Department of Nutrition & Integrative Physiology


Sonia Salari moved to approve all Senate Consent Calendar items. The motion passed after a second from Paul Shami.




Report from Administration

University President Taylor Randall offered final Utah State legislative updates, including receiving increased state funding for salaries and a $400 million bonding approval for the West Valley City Hospital Community Center, which is still in the development stage. His office provided a listing of all Utah State funding decisions of the session for Senate review. He expressed appreciation to Jason Perry and his team for their notable accomplishments this year.


Interim SVP Martell Teasley added updates on an upcoming tuition increase of net 4.8%, which is necessary to fully fund salary increases to UofU employees. Also, he will be partnering with Deans to become a Hispanic-serving institute in the near future. Projections indicate that the U could have anywhere from 6,500 to 7,000 incoming students next year. His office will be collaborating with colleges to solve any course-requirement bottlenecks that a larger first-year class will cause.


Senator Paul Shami asked President Randall to augment the annual report of campus safety events, which includes crime statistics, with a more frequent safety incident report to the Senate in the interim. President Randall said that he will add that to the regular updates. He will consult to determine what would be the most helpful content and format to provide.


Executive Committee Report

Senate President-elect Sonia Salari reported that the Senate Executive Committee had met February 28, 2022, and approved the agenda presented. She added that a discussion about university committee transparency policies, which had been forwarded by the Chair of the Senate Advisory Committee on Academic Policy, resulted in asking Senate Policy Liaison Allyson Mower to further advise the Senate on her findings on this issue. Allyson’s memo will be presented at a future Senate meeting.


Report from ASUU

ASUU President Jessica Wojciechowski highlighted recent ASUU activities. ASUU elections recently concluded, and it is currently trying to establish a basic needs endowment for struggling students, among other projects.



There were no items for the Notice of Intent Calendar




New Graduate Certificate: Deep Learning in AI and Robotics           

Funded by the state of Utah so to meet technology needs, the School of Computing will offer a stackable graduate certificate called Deep Learning in Artificial Intelligence & Robotics (DL-AIR). Faculty representative Thomas Henderson highlighted the purpose, need, and potential of the proposed 15-credit program that incorporates substantial integration, such as internships, with the State and industry partners. Students will be exposed to real world applications of deep learning theory and technology; those with appropriate backgrounds can be admitted into the program as non-matriculated students. A motion from Ganesh Gopalakrishnan to approve the DL-AIR Graduate Certificate proposal passed after a second from Richard Brown.


Policy for Research Misconduct Policy 7-001 Revisions                                                                          

Caren Frost, Associate Vice President for Research Integrity and Compliance, and Heather Sudbury, Operations Manager, explained proposed updates to University Policy 7-001 Research Misconduct. The Policy was last revised in 2008, and so the updated policy reflects new expectations from the federal Office of Research Integrity as well as national discussions about managing research misconduct. The changes to Policy 7-001 include updating the process for managing these cases, expanding the terminology, and broadening the policy to include non-sponsored research. Minor changes to Policy 6-001 Functions and Procedures of the Senate Consolidated Hearing Committee (SCHC) and Policy 6-316 Code of Faculty Rights and Responsibilities will make these consistent with the proposed 7-001 revisions. For instance, the Policy 6-011 updates change the SCHC role in the adjudication process of research misconduct allegations. Senators were also provided with a flowchart identifying the applicable processes and timelines. Brian Snapp moved to approve the Policy 7-00, and the related policies, proposed revisions. After a second from Amos Guiora, the motion passed.


Revised Policy 6-400 Student Code: Bias or Prejudice Related Behavior                                                                 

Jason Ramirez, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students, and

Ken Stonebrook, Associate Dean of Students, explained that Policy 6-400 Student Code must be revised so that it can incorporate language and procedures that will begin to directly address bias and prejudice incidents. Under the current code, these incidents cannot be properly adjudicated, which is a serious and urgent concern, especially in the light of recent campus events. The updated Code will further identify categories of behavior that are prohibited and add enhanced sanctions for behaviors that are biased and prejudiced in nature. In appropriate cases, these sanctions will focus on student development and restorative justice practices instead of punitive punishment. The Code revisions had been vetted by the Office of General Counsel. In addition, this is just the initial set of enhanced policies, and the Code will continue to get updated by their office after gathering community input. Serena Aeschilman, seconded by Howard Horwitz, forwarded a motion to approve the updated Student Code. The motion was approved.


New Graduate Certificate: Game Design  

The faculty of the Entertainment Arts and Engineering (EAE) program proposes a new graduate certificate in Game Design that addresses emerging needs of students and the game design industry, explained faculty members Roger Altizer and Jose Zagal. EAE Master’s degree students are eligible to take the required 15 credit hour offered by existing courses. It is the first of additional professional certificate programs that EAE hopes to offer in the future to undergraduates and the university community. Serena Aeschilman’s motion to approve the Game Design Graduate Certificate proposal passed after a second from Ganesh Gopalakrishnan.


Advanced General Dentistry Pathways:15 Graduate Certificates

Lea Ella Erickson, Associate Dean, and Marjean Nielsen, Director of Education and Pathways, from the School of Dentistry Office of Education and Student Life, presented the Advanced General Dentistry (AGD) Pathway Program. The AGD Pathway Program will provide matriculated predoctoral dental students an opportunity to develop enhanced professional skills by optionally choosing one of 15 dentistry career pathways: (1) academic dentistry, (2) community-engaged dentistry; (3) public health dentistry; (4) periodontics; (5) fixed prosthodontics; (6) general practice dentistry; (7) geriatric, hospital and special care dentistry; (8) oral and maxillofacial surgery; (9) oral and maxillofacial pathology/oral medicine; (10) oral and maxillofacial radiology; (11) oral research; (12) orthodontics; (13) pediatric dentistry; (14) leadership in dentistry; (15) temporomandibular dysfunction and sleep dentistry. Marjean reviewed the program rationale, goals, structure, admission requirements, and advising plan for the 15 pathways. A pilot of the certificate pathways program has been popular with students, she noted. James Keddington’s motion to approve the 15 pathways certificates as a group passed after a second from Brian Snapp.


  1. Information and Recommendations Calendar


Senior Associate Athletics Director for Academic Services Report

Christopher Uchacz, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Academic Services, shared academic successes of Utah student-athletes for 2020-2021 terms. Chris relayed that he is very excited about the academic future of student-athletes. The 2021 Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 93% tied for third amongst all Power 5 public institutions and tied for seventh highest among all Power 5 public/private institutions. The UofU GSR is only second to Stanford (96%) in the PAC 12. Across all sports, student-athletes averaged a record-breaking GPA of 3.407 for the 2019-2020 academic year.


Senate Personnel and Elections Committee Report

Senate Personnel and Elections Committee (SPEC) Chair Dale Larsen reviewed upcoming Senate elections deadlines. The annual Faculty Committee Interest Survey closes March 14, and nominations for next year’s Senate President-elect and Senate Executive Committee members are due April 11. Those interested can consult with current Senate leaders to get more information on serving a leadership role. SPEC members will meet March 18 to develop committee vacancy nominee slates for twenty university and Senate committees. He asked Senators to contact him with any questions.


Universal Design and Access Committee Report

The Universal Design and Access Committee (UDA) is a component of the One U Thriving initiative led by the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, reported UDA co-chairs Angela Smith and Scott McAward. It focuses on proactive approaches to inclusion in areas such as technology, campus, events, and workplace. UDA advises on policies and procedures affecting campus community members and visitors, including persons with disabilities relative to employment, educational opportunities, and accessibility. The presenters summarized its current initiatives: the Accessible U website, More Accessible U, Electronic Accessibility Policy 4-003 updates, Accessibility Guidelines and Resources for Faculty, and Support of Student Groups. They asked Senators to distribute the report to their constituents so that faculty and students are aware of the current programs.


Faculty Appointments and Resignation Reporting

AVP Sarah Projansky announced that, beginning with the March 14, 2022, Senate meeting, the Office of Faculty faculty reports submitted for Senate approval will be streamlined because of the recent changes made to University of Utah Regulations. Appointments of all faculty, including career line, adjunct and visiting faculty, and resignations of tenure-line faculty will continue to be reported. The faculty reports will no longer include faculty administrative appointments; resignations of career line, adjunct, and visiting faculty; non-reappointments; promotions; honorary titles.


Distinguished Research Awards

Christy Porucznik introduced the University Research Committee’s recommendation for the 2022 Distinguished Research Award recipients. She congratulated:


  • Sean Tavtigian, Oncological Sciences, School of Medicine & Huntsman Cancer Institute
  • Jonathan Chaika, Mathematics, College of Science
  • Kathi Mooney, DACC Division, College of Nursing
  • Mary Elizabeth Hartnett, Pediatrics & Ophthalmology Services, School of Medicine & Moran Eye Center
  • Kip Solomon, Geology & Geophysics, College of Mines and Earth Sciences
  • Jacobus Van Der Merwe, School of Computing, College of Engineering


Senate Committee Annual Reports

Senate President Christy Porucznik presented three Senate committee annual reports for Senate review: Senate Advisory Committee on IT Annual Report; Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Faculty Rights Annual Report; Senate Faculty Review Standards Committee Annual Report. She thanked the chairs of these committees, Phoebe McNeally, Lien Fan Shen, and Howard Horwitz for their work.


Information and Reports

Also available with the meeting materials were:

  • President’s February 2022 Report to the Board of Trustees
  • President’s March 2022 Report to the Board of Trustees
  • Senate President February 2022 Report to the Board of Trustee
  • Senate President March 2022 Report to the Board of Trustees



Proposed Improvements to the U’s Retirement Program                       

Senator Gabriel Lozada updated the Senate on his effort to generate improvements to the current University of Utah retirement program. He summarized his findings and recommendations, noting that there could be a need to have more transparency and faculty involvement in the Retirement Committee’s decision process. Gabriel’s opinion was that more eyes on the process would be optimal and reported that he would like to come back to the Senate next year to present updates. Senate President Porucznik noted that there could be an opportunity to strengthen the connection between university retirements and benefits committees and the Senate.



There were no items for Open Discussion


    Meeting adjourned at 5:05 pm.