March 2, 2020

Mar 02 2020
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Meeting Minutes



March 2, 2020


The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on March 2, 2020, was called to order at 3:06 pm by Senate President Julio Facelli. The meeting was held in the Moot Courtroom of the Law School. [Note: The attendance for this meeting will be submitted at a later point.]


The minutes dated January 6, 2020 were approved upon a motion from Anna Barnes and a second by Kent Udell.



As a special set of items on this Consent Calendar, three items were presented which were previously provisionally approved by the Senate Executive Committee. Senate President Julio Facelli had asked the Executive Committee, at its February 10, 2020 meeting, to act on behalf of the Senate to provisionally approve certain agenda items. These had been originally scheduled for action at the Academic Senate February 3, 2020 meeting, which was cancelled due to closure of the University campus because of snowstorm conditions, and these items required timely advancement. Today these three items were presented for the Senate to ratify the Executive Committee’s provisional approval:

  • Discontinuation of EDD in Parks, Recreation & & Tourism
  • Proposal for English BS
  • Teaching Awards Announcements

Community Engaged Teaching and Scholarship Award

The John R. Park Teaching Fellowship

Also, on the Consent Calendar were the Faculty Matters reports. Kathleen Nicoll moved to approve all items on the Consent Calendar. After a second by Richard Landward, the motion passed.



President Ruth Watkins reported that over 4700 people participated in the U Giving Day. The President also introduced and welcomed the new Chief of Police Rodney Chapman. The Senate was additionally updated on the public safety actions being taken by the administration and safety officials to respond to the COVID19 virus situation. Information sources are available at the SafeU website, where there is a link to the Center of Disease Control site. This week, University travel and trip information will be gathered and assessed. She and SVP Daniel Reed asked that faculty communicate with colleagues the importance of registering travel not only as a standard practice, but also especially now in light of increasing travel restrictions. SVP Michael Good added that procedures being put in place now at the U are aimed at slowing down the spread of the virus through social distancing.


Chief Safety Officer Marlon C. Lynch and Emergency Services Director Jeff Graviet gave a coronavirus situation report. The briefing included global, national and Utah confirmed cases–noting that emergencies have been declared in Washington and Florida—US Department of State travel restrictions, and current University actions in emergency coordination and campus protective precautions. The presenters also featured campus information resources such as the regularly updated coronavirus website and campus hotline phone number.


The University of Utah Asia Campus is located in a part of South Korea that has been very affected by the virus contagion, so is cancelling classes and events at the moment.



The Senate Executive Committee met on February 10, 2020 and approved today’s Senate agenda, reported Senate President-elect Randy Dryer.


ASUU President Anna Barnes highlighted the many projects and activities that ASUU leadership has been involved with during the past month. Elections for next year’s ASUU leadership were held recently, and Anna introduced the new ASUU President Ephraim Kum. Other events recapped included working with the Student Fee Board, assessing the data from the ASUU Student Safety Survey, holding this year’s Conference on Diverse Excellence, partnering with Action Utah to host a series of student advocacy-focused events throughout the 2020 Legislative Session, and coordinating with the Center for Student Wellness to promote its new safe sex services and STI/HIV campus testing clinics.



SACBP Restructure Proposal

A proposal to restructure the Senate Advisory Committee on Budget and Planning (SACBP) was presented by Julio Facelli and Bob Flores. Julio explained that, in consultation with President Watkins, the memorandum in front of Senators proposes to revise Policy 6-002 to change the name and the scope of this currently dormant committee. The new name would be Senate Advisory Committee on University Strategic Planning (SACUSP) to reflect that this body will provide the Administration with faculty advice and input on University long-term planning. The proposed membership would be 12 faculty members who represent the University at-large. The Senate Executive Committee would develop a SACUSP membership slate for approval by the Senate. President Watkins offered that she appreciates that this idea came from the Senate leadership and creates an opportunity for systematic faculty engagement when thinking about how resources get invested during the strategic planning process. Tom Richmond, seconded by Kathleen Nicoll, motioned to place the committee restructure proposal on this meeting’s Debate Calendar. The motion did not receive the two-thirds majority of votes required and failed. Julio Facelli announced that this proposal will therefore go on the Senate Debate Calendar of the next Senate meeting.




Undergraduate Certificate in Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH)

This interdisciplinary certificate proposal was presented by Elisabeth Conradt, from the Department of Psychology, and Russ Isabella, from the Department of Family and Consumer Studies. Faculty from these two departments have developed an infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) certificate so that students graduating with this certificate can become more competitive for positions that require solid training in attachment, social and emotional development, infant observation, and parent-infant relationships. There is a critical gap in the workforce across the United States and in Utah for providers with this training, and these departments have the experience and faculty to address the need. A motion from Terry Ring to approve the proposal passed after a second from Susanna Cohen.


Graduate Certificate in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner                                                                                       

Gillian Tufts, Executive Director of Nurse Practitioner Education, explained that the College of Nursing (CON) proposes to offer a Post-Master’s Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) certificate. The purpose of the certificate is to provide currently practicing nurse practitioners an educational route for additional specialization. It was developed in response to the national and state-wide shortage of mental health providers and to address the CON’s increased demand for the PMHNP certificate. The program of study includes 29 credits, providing the education needed to sit for the National Certifying Board Exam by covering psychotherapy and medication management. Passing the exam is required to be licensed in Utah. A motion from Amos Guiora, seconded by Terry Ring, to approve this proposal passed.

Dual degree with DNP and PhD in Nursing                                 

The College of Nursing (CON) proposes to establish a dual degree program combining two existing Nursing degrees: a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP, clinically-focused doctorate), and a PhD (research-focused doctorate). Gwen Latendresse, Assistant Dean for Masters and DNP Programs, explained that this program meets increasing demand for advanced practice nurses to enter the field as clinician-scientists, prepared with advanced clinical skills and scientific training to conduct translational research and teach future generations of nursing students. This allows optimal preparation for graduates to engage both in clinical and research efforts, which is important to the CON’s health care research. The proposal does not establish a new degree program, nor replace existing PhD and DNP programs. It offers a combined program to allow graduate students to earn both doctorate degrees in less time and with fewer overall credits than would be required when pursuing each degree separately. The program of study will meet the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accreditation criteria for the DNP and maintain the scientific training standards for the PhD degree. The UofU dual degree program would be one of five across the country. Kent Udell’s motion, seconded by Sara Simonsen, to approve the proposal passed.


Graduate Certificate in Water, Sanitation and Health Science     

Division of Public Health (DPH) Associate Chief for Education Christy Porucznik presented a proposal to offer an interdisciplinary graduate certificate in Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH) Science. The program gives students an opportunity to gain experience–in classroom, laboratory, and field settings–the multidisciplinary fundamentals of WASH problems and solutions not only locally, but also in the USA and abroad. It is open to students in Public Health, as well as from other disciplines. Students will join with Ghanaian WASH practitioners for experiential learning and to apply the knowledge and skills on a WASH project as part of DPH’s Ghana Learning Abroad program. The division of Public Health is partnering with other Colleges, such as Engineering, to provide the array of course offerings. A motion to approve this program, from Terry Ring and seconded by Susanna Cohen, passed.




Materials Science/Metallurgy Collaboration Project

Dean Darryl Butt, College of Mines and Earth Sciences, and Dean Richard Brown, College of Engineering, described the process the colleges are conducting for an eventual merger between the departments of Materials Science and Engineering–in the College of Engineering–and the Metallurgical Engineering Department–in the College of Mines and Earth Sciences. The eventually merged department would be called Materials Science and Engineering, and it would report to both Deans. It would function as one department in all other ways, and its chair would be selected from both colleges’ faculty in the merged department. For the present, the two departments will continue to exist as they have in the past, as separate programs, with no changes of the existing names. Each will be administratively located within their separate colleges. They are already extensively collaborating through the terms of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) developed by both colleges. There are no specific plans to migrate this integrated department to either of the colleges in the immediate future; issues around faculty appointments, service, RPT, and others, are being ironed out fairly easily. Dean Butt added that it is common among universities for materials sciences to sit in various colleges and believed that this eventual merger will prove to be positive for the UofU. Whenever an actual proposal is developed to make any formal change to either of the existing departments or colleges, including any change of name or change of administrative structure affecting the faculty members, such a proposal will necessarily come through the Senate for a vote, and then go on to the Board of Trustees for a vote.


Senate Personnel and Elections Committee Updates                               

Olga Baker, Senate Personnel and Elections Committee (SPEC) Chair, updated the Senate on the current Senate elections and committee nominations process. At the last Senate meeting of the year, April 27, there will be an election for the next President-elect and for next year’s Senate Executive Committee members. Those interested in running for these positions will want to contact Olga or Jane Laird. Candidates for the Senate President-elect position will have two different application forms, depending on whether they are tenure-line or career-line. In addition, there will be college-specific vacancies on the SPEC for next year. Current Senators are eligible to serve on SPEC even if they are rolling off the Senate next term.


Name Change to ENVST Emphases                                                 

Jennifer Watt, Associate Director of Environmental and Sustainability Studies explained, after piloting existing emphases for five semesters, ENVST faculty have determined that the names of four emphases need to be modified because some students have found them confusing. The current emphasis names and their proposed replacements are: Land Management Conservation and Place shortened to Conservation and Land Management; Ecological Literacy and Social Change simplified to Ecojustice Education; Food Systems and Community Resilience shortened to Food Systems and Community; Climate and Energy simplified to Sustainability Initiatives. In addition to these name changes, this proposal also adds two additional courses available to students in the policy requirement area.

Graduate Council 7-year Reviews
Three Graduate Council 7-year Reviews were summarized by Dave Keida, Dean of the Graduate School. The School of Architecture has been actively working on curricular redesign and strategic planning. The report noted that the School’s immersive experiences are valued by students and were complimented by reviewers. There is a challenge to keep a flow of new students, both broadly and with respect to diversity, and remains a priority. There are accessibility issues in the main building where the program is housed (lacking a convenient elevator); this situation is in need of urgent attention.

The collaboration between the College of Engineering and the College of Mines and Earth Sciences, described earlier in today’s meeting, has addressed issues raised in the Council’s review of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). The ongoing process toward eventual merger with the Department of Metallurgical Engineering has created a department with more complete disciplinary breadth and a larger core faculty. MSE was particularly commended for its success in the recruitment, involvement, and satisfaction of its undergraduate students.

For the Department of Oncological Sciences, reviewers pointed out many of the department’s strengths, such as: success of its faculty in obtaining both individual and collaborative extramural funding, a chair valued for effective leadership, and a strong sense of community among faculty, students, and staff. The report suggested that this is a good time for the Department to update its strategic plan in order to have its vision integrated with the School of Medicine and University strategic plan development. Additional recommendations included building on current faculty/student successes and diversity through various initiatives.


Update of UofU Asia Campus status                                                    

Chris Ireland, Interim Chief Global Officer updated the Senate on the status of the University of Utah Asia campus (UAC) by highlighting accomplishments of the UAC at its 5-year anniversary, its strategic value to the University’s core mission, and future opportunities and directions. Due to the COVID19 flu conditions in South Korea and in the USA, Chris began with the public safety phone number and website where the campus community can get answers to questions about the current efforts of the University to ensure safety during this time.


Explaining that it is celebrating its 5th year, he presented the vision for UAC and summarized its growth. The inaugural class in 2014 had 13 students; as of the Fall 2019 term, there are 403. The UAC is building a strong brand in South Korea because its intention is to be an extension of the Salt Lake campus, using UofU faculty who report to their departments here, has been successful and sets it apart from other similar institutions. Ongoing goals for UAC include adding new degrees, increasing domestic and international enrollment, increasing engagement and recognition for the institution, and expanding its research capability. Chris asked faculty interested in teaching at the UAC for five-week sessions, or longer, to contact him.


Senate Faculty Review and Standards Committee Annual Report  

AVP Sarah Projansky, Senate Faculty Review and Standards Committee (SFRSC) Interim Administrative Chair, reviewed the completed and in-process projects of the Committee this year. SFRSC is in the process of identifying all RPT, Career-line review, and TFR Statements that need revision; and it is revising the University-wide templates for RPT, Career-line, and TFR Statements. The Committee was reorganized and now has three-member subcommittees review assigned documents and then submit comments and suggestions at the full committee meetings. So far, Committee members have liked this process. The report included a list of the document reviews in Fall 2019 and those planned for review in Spring 2020. There is a need for a faculty Chair for this committee; volunteers and nominations were welcomed. Those interested should contact Senate President Julio Facelli.


Senate Advisory Committee on Academic Policy Annual Report  

Sharon Aiken-Wisniewski, SACAP Chair, updated the Executive Committee on the work of the Senate Advisory Committee on Academic Policy (SACAP) this year. Three key issues addressed were: Library Subscriptions for Scholarly Journals; Thesis Office Deadlines & Process; Return of Graduation Committee.

SACAP met last Summer and Fall with Alberta Comer, Dean of the Libraries, and Associate Dean Anderson to consult about the proposed process for reducing scholarly publications. Building on this, SVP Dan Reed has convened a committee with broad campus representation that will continue to investigate this issue. Sharon expects this will then come back to SACAP later next Fall.


Issues concerning the Thesis Office deadlines and policies were raised because its deadlines are much earlier than other PAC-12 institutions, and its review policies are more broad than those of other campuses, causing graduation delays that impact licensure and employment. Graduate School Dean Dave Kieda and Thesis Office Director Kelly Harward will be compiling assessment data and consider possible deadline changes, then meet with SACAP in March or April.


The third issue, which was raised in 2018, is that students who pursue a Non-Learning Abroad Sponsored Experience as part of the last 30 credits to complete a bachelor’s degree are challenged by the degree residency requirement policy that 20 out of last 30 must be U of U courses. After reviewing other PAC-12 institutions’ policies and discussing the issue with the Registrar, Tim Ebner, the Registrar’s office is working with Undergraduate Studies to reconstitute the Graduation Committee. This committee would review appeals that focus on graduation issues. Students pursuing the Non-Learning Abroad Sponsored experience could then petition through this committee. SACAP will also explore additional residency options.


After comments and general discussion, Senate President Julio Facelli recognized that the consensus of the Senate indicated that the issues surrounding the thesis office deadlines presents a serious problem to faculty and will bring it up with President Watkins for further attention.


Julio updated the Senate on its recently approved Resolution to ask that a faculty member gain a seat on the Utah Board of Regents during its upcoming restructure as directed by the Utah legislature. It is a fluid situation, and the current proposal offers faculty seats on a Board of Industry Guidance, which would advise the Regents. He will continue to keep the Senate updated on developments.



After Divya Chandrasekhar asked for more information on what happened to the tuition benefit program, Julio offered to confer with VPR Andrew Weyrich and follow up. Ann Engar inquired about the status of the committee studying the parental leave benefit for career-line faculty, and  Sarah Projansky responded that the committee has convened and a policy proposal will come forward this semester. Its Chair, Mardie Clayton, has already pulled together data for review and the committee’s intent is to actively pursue this proposal.


Meeting adjourned at 5:07 pm.