March 5, 2018


Mar 05 2018
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Meeting Minutes

ACADEMIC SENATE March 5, 2018 Call to Order The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on March 5, 2018, was called to order at 3:02 pm by Senate President Margaret Clayton. The meeting was held in the Moot Courtroom of the College of Law. Present: Sarah Hinners, Elena Asparouhova, Shmuel Baruch, Brian Cadman, Annie Fukushima, Darryl Butt, Lauren Liang, Rajeev Balasubramonian, Sudeep Kanungo, Hanseup Kim, Ken Monson, John Regehr, Frank Sachse, James Sutherland, Denny Berry, Laurel Caryn, Michael Chikinda, Bo Foreman, Stacy Manwaring, Jim Martin, Susan Naidu, Nelson Roy, Alex Terrill, James Anderson, Eric Hinderaker, Anne Lair, Lex Newman, Randy Dryer, Terry Kogan, Tom Lund, John Bramble, Luke Leither, Brandon Patterson, Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer, Pinar Bayrak-Toydemir, Nadia Cobb, Julio Facelli, Per Gesteland, Antoinette Laskey, Nicole L. Mihalopoulos, Kalani Raphael, Brad Rockwell, Debra Simmons, Ravi Chandran, Jessica Wempen, Linda Tyler, Ann Engar, Joel Brownstein, Tommaso de Fernex, Yekaterina Epshteyn, Dragan Milicic, Jon Seger, Jennifer Shumaker-Parry, Gunseli Berik, Sheila Crowell, Baodong Liu, Sharon Mastracci, Duncan Metcalfe, Kathleen Nicoll, Zhou Yu, Mary Beth Vogel-Ferguson, Joanne Yaffe, Micah Smith, Valerie Guerrero, Emina Tatarevic, Jacob Lopez, Elizabeth Pohl, Trevor Annis, Nathan Ong, Michael Stapley, Kaitlin McLean, India Kozlowski, Zach Berger Absent: Brenda Scheer, Shundana Yusaf, Robert Allen, Nitin Bakshi, Jeff Nielsen, Todd Zenger, Olga Baker, Mark Durham, James Winkler, Leticia Alvarez, John Funk, Chuck Dorval, Winston Kyan, Ning Lu, Sean Lawson, Maureen Mathison, Mia Hashibe, Ken Johnson, Shaji Menon, Diego Fernandez, Lauren Clark, Susanna Cohen, Andrea Bild, Dmytro Pesin, Adrienne Cachelin, Nicholas Gochnor, Chandler Dean, Chase Peterson, Ailien Luu, Summer Mikkelsen, Abigail Stover, Ananya Roy Ex Officio: Margaret Clayton, Bob Flores, Xan Johnson, Paul Mogren, Tom Richmond, David Pershing, Ruth Watkins Excused with proxy: Melonie Murray, Gema Guevara, Ilya Zharov, David Goldenberg, Pearl Sandick, Korkut Erturk, Melanie Barber, Carley Herrick Excused: Alberta Comer, Lorris Betz, Sr., Katharine Coles, Patricia Hanna, Amnon Schlegel, Thomas Winter, Sara Simonsen, Donald Blumenthal, Sarah Bush, Kim Korinek, Jason Castillo

2 Others: Emily Beard, Lauren Perry, James Barber, Christine McMillan, Chris Lewis, John Conboy, Doug Bergman, Norm Waitzman Approval of Minutes: The minutes dated February 5, 2018 were approved with a motion from Jim Anderson and a second from Xan Johnson. Consent Calendar: The Consent Calendar items dated March 5, 2018 were approved unanimously. Executive Committee Report Tom Richmond gave an update on the activities of the Executive Committee. He noted that some files came in late, including the Faculty Matters spreadsheet with a number of administrative appointments, included in the Consent Calendar. Request for New Business No new business Report from Administration: President Dave Pershing gave an update on the recent activities of the U’s administration. It is his last Senate meeting as university president. He said that incoming president Ruth Watkins believes strongly in faculty governance and will continue the close relationship between the Senate and administration. President Pershing is still working closely with the legislature; the session closes on March 8. His tentative news is positive; he thinks the U will get at least 2 percent compensation increases, as well as funding for the student growth request, completion initiative request, and workforce funding request. He also thinks the U will receive permission for the new undergraduate housing complex on campus. Finally, he said faculty should not be worried if they are in the middle of the RPT process, as he and Ruth are working closely to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks in the leadership transition. Report from ASUU Zach Berger gave an update on the recent activities of ASUU. He talked about ASUU’s primary initiative this year to increase funding and awareness for student mental health. They have proposed a new student fee for mental health funding, which will go before the Board of Trustees soon. He showed a video that the Utah Student Association created to promote student mental health issues on campus. He also noted that ASUU is rewriting its constitution and bylaws, to ensure they are in accordance with U policy. He also asked faculty to promote student participation in ASUU elections between March 12-15. Notice of Intent No items of intent Debate Calendar
3 Stuart Culver presented a proposal for a new interdisciplinary minor in Medical Humanities. Medical Humanities is a growing field nationally, and there are graduate programs in which U undergrads would like to enroll. Additionally, it is an area of prominent research for Humanities faculty. The proposal is targeted at students with career aspirations in health professions and medicine-- to this end, it is articulated to mesh with the LEAP and Block U programs for pre-health students-- as well as students in fields such as communications and philosophy, to provide a cross-disciplinary approach to the growing field. Motion was made by Joanne Yaffe to approve the proposal and forward to the Board of Trustees. Motion seconded by Jim Anderson. Motion passed unanimously. Information and Recommendations Calendar The following items were presented for the information and recommendations of the Academic Senate: Vice President Ruth Watkins, and Mark Winter of the Office of Budget and Institutional Analysis, gave a report on the University’s use of information from Academic Analytics. Academic Analytics is a data service that allows comparing performance of disciplines at the U with those at peer institutions across the country. The default comparison group is institutions that offer PhD programs across the country, but the comparison group may be narrowed to other groups, such as the AAUP or the Pac-12. The data is only related to scholarship (not other work of faculty). The primary indicators are faculty count, article count, award count, federal grant dollars, and citation count. There were significant increase in all categories between 2015 and 2016 at the U, particularly in federal grant dollars and citation counts. In that same time period, the U moved past eight institutions, including Oregon State University, Indiana University, and University of Arizona. Ruth emphasized that the University will only use this service to make comparisons at the department level (i.e., comparing performance of a department at the U to a similar department at another institution), and never to judge the performance of individual faculty members for RPT or other types of performance reviews of faculty. She also noted that, once in a while, the system does err by conflating individuals with similar names. Additionally, Academic Analytics does not capture some factors, but these factors are excluded across the board (affecting analysis of all institutions). Finally, she noted that Academic Analytics is more useful in some fields than in others (for example, it does not capture creative activity, and is thus less useful in the fine arts). It was clarified that the citations count only includes citations of articles published within a recent timeframe. Mark Winter then gave a live demonstration of the functionality of the system. The system may be used to facilitate faculty recognition, as well as peer institution comparison benchmarking. There is a Collaborations mechanism, that shows the strongest networks of collaboration across campus. There is also a Research Portal, which allows for a search of faculty members across the country doing research in a certain field. There is also a filter that allows searches for individuals that have any affiliation with the University of Utah (or any other institution). The data is currently accessible to deans and department chairs, so any data requests should be routed through those
4 individuals. Finally, Ruth noted that academic analytics will be critical to the U hopefully receiving an invitation to join the Association of American Universities (AAU). Bill Johnson, as interim committee chair, presented a report from the Senate ad hoc committee on faculty review of administrators. The committee, which started its work in 2015, has surveyed units across campus and found that administrator reviews are not erformed consistently across units, solicitation of faculty/staff/student input is uneven across units, constituent faculty/staff/students are sometimes unaware of reviews, and solicited input from constituent groups is not provided back to the groups following the review. The committee also reviewed policies and practices at other institutions in the Pac-12, and explored the possibility of U faculty participating in administering the collection of faculty/staff/student constituent input for reviews, and then providing information back to those constituent groups following the review. Included with the committee’s report was the committee’s in-concept proposal for a new Senate committee that would play a limited role in administrator reviews, by collecting constituent input to be used for conducting mid- and full-term reviews for deans and department chairs across campus. One aspect of the proposal is for senators to serve as the college representatives on the committee. In response to a question, Bill noted that reviews of directors of centers, institutes, and bureaus are not included in the proposal at this point, but would likely be included at a later phase if/when the process is established. After several senators rose and spoke in favor of further exploring such a proposal, a straw poll’ vote was conducted to gauge interest in moving forward with the proposal-- a majority of senators expressed support. Sharon Aiken-Wisniewski gave a report on the activities of the Senate Advisory Committee for Academic Policy. It has considered the issue of the policy related to final exams, that sits within Policy 6-100. The primary issue is related to final exams being held at times other than the designated exam time during final exam week (e.g., most commonly during the last week of regular classes for the semester). The committee has surveyed peer institutions, and is considering the definition of what constitutes an “exam.” The committee is considering proposing a University Rule in conjunction with Policy 6-100 to clarify what constitutes an “exam” and thus what should fall within finals week, as well as what culminating experiences might fall during the last week of classes. Randy Dryer, as chair of the Senate Personnel and Elections Committee gave an update on preparations for the upcoming annual Senate elections, and the faculty committee interest survey. He encouraged faculty from Mines & Earth Sciences, Nursing, Education, and Law to fill out the survey, due to low response rates to date. The survey will close on March 9, and voting for Senate standing committee membership for 2018-2019 will occur electronically between April 9 and April 20. Election results will be announced at the final Senate meeting on April 30. Bob Flores, as Senate Policy Liaison, gave an update from the Institutional Policy Committee regarding new guidance documents. He noted that the U’s Regulations website catalogs all of the regulations for the institution. He noted that there is a category of regulation, called “guidelines,” to assist members of the U community in adhering to policy. There are two new guidelines that merit special attention. First, new Guideline 1-
5 002 is a convenient template for preparing meeting minutes of university meetings. The Office of General Counsel developed the template, to give people a better idea of what information minutes should include, how detailed they should be, etc. Second, new Guideline 6-001A provides information for how academic departments should prepare their now-required Curriculum Management Plans (which have become required following the most recent reaccreditation of the U). These and other guidelines are available through the University Regulations Website at https://regulations.utah.edu/info/policyList.php New Business No new business Open Discussion The following remarks were made during the Open Discussion portion of the meeting. Kaitlin McLean, Science- Kaitlin, the student senator from the College of Science, commented about a potential future proposal that would remove the student vote in the RPT process. She said that students are passionate about this topic, desire to know the motivation for the potential change, and are proud to have student voice in the RPT process and do not wish for it to be taken away. Bob Flores responded to this comment--explaining that as Senate Policy Liaison he has been representing the Senate in meetings of a Task Force that has been developing the proposal. He said that the proposal will almost certainly be coming forward to the Senate in the near future. The proposal will include a change regarding how departments engage student input in the process of conducting reviews of tenure-line faculty members for RPT decisions. As it now stands, student input is received through student advisory committees (SACs) within each department; the new proposal would no longer require that student input be brought through that mechanism, but would allow departments flexibility in designing systems through which they would solicit and take into account student feedback during faculty review processes. The existing Policy states that SACs have a vote in the series of votes in the RPT process, and that its negative vote (or any other one negative vote) has the power to send the case to the University Promotion and Tenure Advisory Committee (effectively to an appeals process). The proposal will include removing this potentiality. Bob said the task force has sought more student feedback in this process, and is working with ASUU to ensure that students are involved in the remaining stages of this process. There was further discussion from the floor. Toni Laskey asked how often the SAC votes are contrary to the votes of the rest of the department, and was concerned about whether negative SAC votes indeed indicate pertinent problems with the faculty member being evaluated. Joanne Yaffe noted that the proposal is not to remove student input, but to reorganize and preserve student input. She also noted that many cases that come to UPTAC have a dissenting SAC vote, or a dissenting vote from part of a SAC (i.e. the graduate or the undergraduate part); in these cases, UPTAC takes the student input very seriously and ensures it is heard. Zach Berger said that students feel there have been barriers to their ability to provide their input and feedback to this process and proposal.
6 He worries that the proposal is too vague and allows too much departmental discretion in solicitation of student feedback; he wants to see more concrete manners in which student feedback will be considered. Ravi Chandran asked about the scope of the problem; Bob Flores said that student feedback provided through the SAC mechanism has often been ill-prepared and unreliable, and had too much weight in a major decision for a faculty member’s career. Another student requested that faculty senators reach out to the student senators from their colleges to seek their input on the proposal. Julio Facelli requested a detailed rationale from the task force when it brings its proposal forward. Adjournment Meeting adjourned at 4:40 pm. Respectfully submitted, Maddy Oritt