March 4, 2019
Call to Order
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on March 4, 2019, was called to order at 3:05 pm by Senate President Thomas Richmond. The meeting was held in the Moot Courtroom of the College of Law.
Present: Alan Abbinanti, Rima Ajlouni, Bob Allen, Elena Asparouhova, Nitin Bakshi, Rajeev Balasubramonian, Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer, Amy Barrios, Shmuel Baruch, Pinar Bayrak-Toydemir, Donald Blumenthal, Bryan Bonner, Kirsten Butcher, Adrienne Cachelin, Laurel Caryn, Mike Caserta, Ravi Chandran, Susanna Cohen, Katharine Coles, Sheila Crowell, Chuck Dorval, Randy Dryer, Ann Engar, Korkut Erturk, Diego Fernandez, Candace Floyd, Kenneth Foreman, Leslie Francis, Per Gesteland, Thomas Crane Giamo, Valerie Guerrero, Gema Guevara, Kim Hackford-Peer, Patricia Hanna, Eric Hinderaker, Christel Hohenegger, Hanseup Kim, Anne Kirchhoff, Kim Korinek, Anne Lair, Rich Landward, Dale Larsen, Stephane LeBohec, Lauren Liang, Tom Lund, Brad Lundahl, Jim Martin, Maureen Mathison, Claire McGuire, Kaitlin McLean, Dragan Milicic, Ken Monson, Krystal Moorman, Connor Morgan, Kathleen Nicoll, Brandon Patterson, Wanda Pillow, Elizabeth Pohl, Angela Rasmussen, Georgi Rausch, John Regehr, Brad Rockwell, Nelson Roy, Alejandra Sanchez, Amnon Schlegel, Jon Seger, Peyden Shelton, Helene Shugart, Debra Simmons, Sara Simonsen, Carol Sogard, James Sutherland, Thomas Swensen, Alex Terrill, Aryana Vadipour, Neil Vickers, Jessica Wempen, James Winkler, Tom Winter, Joanne Yaffe, Taryn Young, Zhou Yu
Excused with proxy: Gunseli Berik, Brian Cadman, Tommaso De Fernex, Emily Kam, Sharon Mastracci, Frank Sachse, Jennifer Shumaker-Parry, Nadia Cobb
Excused: Olga Baker, Darryl Butt, Michael Larice, Dustin Stokes, Sylvia Torti
Absent: Joel Brownstein, Sarah Bush, Devon Cantwell, Mark Durham, Haley Feten, John Funk, Amanda Goodner, Mia Hashibe, Christopher Hull, Howie Huynh, Ken Johnson, Kaelin Kaczka, Winston Kyan, Sean Lawson, Kaden Madson, Susan Naidu, Rick Paine, Lauren Perry, Jon Rainier, Ravi Ranjan, Kalani Raphael, Pearl Sandick, Taylor Stringham, Emily Thomas, Brenda Van Der Wiel, Julie Wright-Costa, Shundana Yusaf
Ex Officio: Lisa Hutton, Margaret Clayton, Julio Facelli, Robert Flores, Robert Fujinami, Dave Hill, Harriet Hopf, Paul Mogren, Thomas Richmond, Daniel Reed, Jane Laird
Others: Ryan Steele
Approval of Minutes:
The minutes dated February 4, 2019 were approved upon a motion from Joanne Yaffe and a second by Pat Hanna.
The Consent Calendar was approved upon a motion from Harriet Hopf and a second by Kaitlin McLean.
Report from Administration
In the absence of President Watkins, Senior Vice President Daniel Reed updated the Senate on several areas. At the latest Board of Trustees meeting, the 30 action items recommended by the recent Campus Safety Task Force report were discussed, and that process continues to move forward on several fronts. The tuition approval process and meetings will take place at the legislature in March, and he reminded Senators that the USHE tuition process changed this year. The University has two building bonding authority requests in front of the legislature also, one is for the Huntsman Cancer Center, and the other for the Rice-Eccles Stadium renovation. Also in front of the legislature are two bills that would benefit USHE institutions.
The campus budget process begins soon; budget committee meetings are currently being scheduled. After a long and thoughtful search, a new Pioneer Theatre Director, Christopher Massimine, has been selected.
Because of some issues in the news, SVP Reed also reiterated the University’s position on free speech. Public research universities take the First Amendment obligation to protect free speech seriously. The University respects and honors this obligation as a core of its academic mission.
Senate Executive Committee Report
Julio Facelli reported on the February 11th Senate Executive Committee meeting. Agenda items that the Senate will see today were discussed and included several new programs and degrees, a campus sustainability presentation, and some of the annual Senate committee reports. The EC continued to provide input to the web policy proposal, and the presentation on the Senate Information Calendar will reflect those updates, in addition to encouraging Senators to express further comments and suggestions.
Report from ASUU
ASUU President Connor Morgan reported that he and other student leaders had been busy at the legislature advocating for student issues, along with colleagues from various USHE institutions. The Academic Senate will also see some further ASUU submissions in its next meeting cycle. The ASUU is currently working on a resolution that will be related to sustainability and specifically seeking to recommit to an expedited timeline for achieving zero net carbon emissions on campus. A working group of students, staff and Senate Executive Committee members are refining a draft resolution to be presented at the next Senate Executive Committee meeting and the April 1 Senate meeting. The other is an ASUU policy change recommendation requiring the addition of a brief statement to all syllabuses concerning access to campus safety information. It is the ASUU’s position that if it helps one student, then this addition is worth the effort.
ASUU elections were completed the prior week, and current officers are looking forward to assisting with the transition.
President Tom Richmond announced that the faculty committee interest survey closes tonight. He also encouraged those who would like to run for Senate President to contact him.
Notice of Intent Calendar
SACSCF Proposed Student Feedback Instrument
Members of the Senate Advisory Committee on Student Course Feedback–Maureen Mathison (Chair), Pat Tripeny, Kaitlin McLean, and Aryana Vadipour—proposed an updated student feedback instrument to the Senate. Maureen explained that one charge of this committee is to periodically review student course feedback tools and recommend updates and improvements. Over the last few years, the committee has met with students and faculty to see how to optimally update the current student feedback instrument. One goal is to have a feedback tool that best represents the student experience and can inform curriculum decisions made by individual instructors and departments. Another concern when developing a new feedback tool, shared by many institutions, is to reduce the bias that traditional student course feedback surveys induce. Because student instructor feedback is a piece of RPT reviews, limiting bias, while at same time avoiding other negative impacts on that process that might stem from a new tool, are important.
Based upon the student and faculty focus groups’ meetings, the committee had presented a prospective tool to all department chairs. Feedback from the 15 departments that responded was very positive and incorporated into the instrument being presented to the Senate. The committee is also working on implementation plans to put the new tool into practice. Aryana explained that the proposal is not meant to radically change how the University conducts student feedback. However, the current tool is no longer useful to professors and students, and the proposed version seeks to address that. Kaitlin added that the feedback from department chairs was robust, and there is a consensus that this tool is much better. Patrick, who is Director of CTLE, advised that this new tool represents the first change in about 12 years, and might seem like a big jump, but hopes in the future that the tool will be subject to smaller, more frequent adjustments as needed.
The presenters further addressed Senators’ questions. The tool presented is the basic feedback question set, and departments and instructors will continue to be able to add specific questions to student surveys needed for their individual purposes. The proposed tool is based upon evidence-based teaching practices, with the aim to create classroom environments where teaching and learning can be optimized. The committee had considered suggestions during its research on how to increase response rates, and welcome more as it plans implementation, which would begin once the tool content is approved.
Patrick also explained that there is an assumption by users of the current tool that the numbers generated by the current feedback system have some statistical significance to them, but the current numerical scores do not. The committee’s view is that the quantitative and trend data from the University’s current feedback tool does not actually reveal much useable information. Departments can however determine individually how to work with the feedback data from the new instrument. Students will continue to be able to view data collected from course feedback surveys.
Dual Degrees in (1) Master of City & Metropolitan Planning and Master of Public Policy and (2) Master of City & Metropolitan Planning and Master of Public Administration
Keith Bartholomew, College of Architecture & Planning Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, and Lina Svedin, College of Social & Behavioral Science Director of Public Affairs Program, introduced two proposed dual degrees. A number of students in the MPP and MPA programs are interested in urban issues and already take electives in the MCMP to enhance career readiness and opportunities. These proposed dual degrees are synergistic and will allow students to get two degrees in a reduced amount of time. In a recrafted curriculum that avoids duplication, core courses will remain at 30 or 31 credit hours, and the remainder will be electives in the respective areas. The goal was to create a degree program that is unique and exciting, and help the University keep up with programs in its peer group. The special competencies that students acquire with the blended degree will be attractive in the field as these further support planning needs of local and regional governments. A motion to approve both of these two proposed new degrees, by Kate Coles and seconded by Joanne Yaffe, passed.
Graduate Certificate in Public Policy
Lina Svedin explained that this Certificate in Public Policy is a 15-credit program and part of a larger launch of U Online, as the courses for the certificate are all accessible via online learning. The first audience for this program is working professionals, who are not currently students, with policy interests and public or nonprofit sector experience; this is a credential that they can add to their existing portfolio. The other is current graduate students pursuing degrees in fields related to government management and students interested in advocacy work. It is an interdisciplinary graduate certificate and the departments involved aim to roll it out August 2019. Pat Hanna moved to approve the proposed new graduate certificate, seconded by Joanne Yaffe. The motion passed.
Master of Athletic Training
Katherine Woods and Justin Rigby, from the Athletic Training Program, presented a proposal for the creation of a new Master in Athletic Training program degree. The reason for the proposal is to align to its healthcare accrediting agency standards which require that all athletic training education be moved to the graduate or master’s degree level by 2022. It will replace the current bachelors and related offerings in this area. Justin explained that all the courses listed are all new because the department took this opportunity to revise the program to this higher level. It will not use any current master’s courses in sports medicine, as the aims of the two programs are different. A motion from Randy Dryer, seconded by Kathleen Nicoll, to approve the proposed new masters degree passed.
Information and Recommendations Calendar
Senate Committee Annual Report: SACSCF
The Senate Advisory Committee on Student Course Feedback annual report to the Senate was incorporated into the SACSCF presentation on the Senate Intent Calendar.
Senate Committee Annual Report: SCAFFR
Allyson Mower, Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Faculty Rights Chair, summarized the committee’s annual report. The Committee had heard one complaint this year. Although no violation of academic freedom was found in the case, the committee did caution in its conclusion instances of chilling language from the department that inferred that the professor’s work, which was allowable under department standards, was not productive. The SCAFFR Committee attended an extracurricular event on First Amendment rights and free speech on college campuses, which was very informative.
Graduate Review: Environmental Humanities
Kate Ullman, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, discussed the Graduate Council 7th year Review report of the program. The program began in 2005 and this was its first review of this kind. The Environmental Humanities program is considered a pioneer, as it was the first in the nation. It has maintained its excellence over the years. One recommendation in the report was to raise the profile of the program due to its strength. The Program Director is on track to address priorities identified in the review.
Emphases MA in Language Pedagogy
Elena Garcia-Martin, Margaret Toscano, and Mackenzie Buie presented the Department of World Languages and Cultures’ proposal to add emphases to one of its graduate degrees, the MA in Language Pedagogy. Currently a student can emphasize Spanish, French, or German with this degree. Elena explained that the department will add four new emphases under this graduate degree for pedagogical preparation for teaching Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and Russian. These four emphases will fit within the existing program and its foundational courses.
University of Utah Sustainability Update
Keith Diaz-Moore, Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning and interim Chief Sustainability Officer, and Christopher Benson, Office of Sustainability, gave the Senate a comprehensive update on the facilities and operations gains made in sustainability over the last few years. Keith explained that there are two different areas responsible for addressing sustainability goals. One is the academic research side, and the other is the operations side. He introduced some members of the involved offices. The big goal when signing the country’s Presidents Climate Commitment, by University of Utah President Michael Young in 2008, was to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. Chris followed by saying that many people contributed to the results and the presentation being viewed by the Senate, and that interactions and involvement with students, faculty and other operational groups play a large role in notable progress made towards sustainability goals.
Chris reviewed the slide presentation that covered multiple aspects of operations sustainability on campus–featuring goals and strategy, progress and key operational accomplishments, current projects and next steps, plus information about the Sustainability Office. The scope and breadth of the team’s sustainability goals are focused on “One U.” It includes not only the main campus, health sciences facilities and Research Park, but also athletics, campus housing, commuter services, Red Butte Garden and other partners. The 300 buildings encompassed would be the tenth largest city in Utah if all were combined. Goals such as carbon neutrality are achievable and require recognizing the right investments and resources to get there. He explained that the teams involved believe there is a solid foundation for reaching these goals and are very interested in working closely with the Senate and faculty members, utilizing their expertise and skills, to get there more quickly and effectively.
Policy 4-003 Website Policy Proposal
The revised Policy 4-003, covering University-affiliated websites, was presented by the drafting group of Patricia Hanna, Dave Hill, Paula Millington, Steve Hess, Chris Pfeiffer. Steve Hess, Chief Information Officer, reviewed highlights that included the reasons a web policy is needed, its purpose, scope and goals. Guidance was provided by consultants from Deloitte and the Office of General Counsel. The latest version of the updated policy presented had been broadly reviewed by the Enterprise Web Advisory Council, multiple departments, committees, and administrators. Areas covered by the policy are: accessibility, academic freedom, copyright, design standards, domain names, privacy, commercial speech, e-commerce, registration, university portal, university webmaster, and web site owners. The Office of Civil Rights approved the current accessibility guidelines–wherein there no strict requirements at this time due to a large learning curve–as this inclusion indicates the University is making progress in this area. Steve also identified areas that are out-of-scope to this policy. The group will bring this policy to the Senate Executive Committee to ask that it be on the next Senate meeting’s Debate Calendar. Senate President Tom Richmond asked Senators to fully the review the policy details in preparation.
No new Business
Senate President Tom Richmond thanked Anne Whittaker, staff member of the Chemistry Department, and student Michaela Lemen, representing the ASUU, for assisting with the meeting’s microphones.
Meeting adjourned at 5:00 pm.