ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES
March 6, 2017
Call to Order
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on March 6, 2017, was called to order at 3:00
pm by Xan Johnson, Senate President. The meeting was held in the Health Sciences Education
Building, room 1750.
Present: Shundana Yusaf, Sarah Hinners, Robert Allen, Elena Asparouhova, Brian Cadman,
Alberta Comer, Olga Baker, Yongmei Ni, John Funk, Rajeev Balasubramonian, Chuck Dorval,
Mathieu Francoeur, Hanseup Kim, Xiaoyue Liu, Ken Monson, John Regehr, Denny Berry, Joe
Marotta, Melonie Murray, Stacy Manwaring, Jim Martin, Susan Naidu, Nelson Roy, Les Podlog,
James Anderson, Karin Baumgartner, Disa Gambera, Eric Hinderaker, Lex Newman, Adrian
Palmer, Terry Kogan, Tom Lund, John Bramble, Alicia Brillon, Julie Barkmeier–Kraemer, Nadia
Cobb, Julio Facelli, Per Gesteland, Antoinette Laskey, Nicole L. Mihalopoulos, Ravi Ranjan,
Brad Rockwell, Thomas Winter, Ravi Chandran, Paul Jewell, Lauren Clark, Sara Simonsen,
Lynn Hollister, Donald Blumenthal, Randy Dryer, Joel Brownstein, Tommaso de Fernex,
Yekaterina Epshten, David Goldenberg, Dmytro Pesin, Thomas Richmond, Pearl Sandick,
Andrejs Treibergs, Wade Cole, Thomas Cova, Paul White, Zhou Yu, Edmund Fong, Jason
Castillo, Mary Beth Vogel–Ferguson, Joanne Yaffe, Caroline Li, Madison Day, Zach Zundel,
Zach Marquez, Carley Herrick, Edwin Lin, Nathan Ong, Jake Knight, Kyndle Pardun, Connor
Roach, Zoe Tsoutsounis, Steve Ott
Absent: Brenda Scheer, Adam Meirowitz, Jeff Nielsen, David Plumlee, Todd Zenger, Dianne
Harris, Mark Durham, Leticia Alvarez, Michael Cottle, Ning Lu, Julie Metos, Nadja Durbach,
Avery Holton, David Hill, Katherine Kendall, John T. Langell, Robert A. Stephenson, Frederick
Strathmann, David Dinter, Andrea Bild, Michael Shapiro, Adrienne Cachelin, Korkut Erturk,
Baodong Liu, Duncan Metcalfe, Lauren Adams, Ashley Wilcox, Robert Coffman, Rachel
Petersen, Sabrina Hancock, Jack Bender, Kevin Yang
Ex–Officio: Bill Johnson, Bob Flores, Xan Johnson, Paul Mogren, David Pershing
Excused with proxy: Mia Hashibe, Linda Tyler, Michael Stapley
Excused: Sudeep Kanungo, Michael Chikinda, Mardie Clayton, Ruth Watkins, Sean Lawson,
Luke Leither, Maureen Murtaugh, Jennifer Shumaker–Parry, John Sperry, Vivian Lee
Others: Chris Bell, Kim Shoaf, Dan Witt
Approval of Minutes
The minutes for February were approved with a motion by Joanne Yaffe. Motion passed
The current list of appointments and resignations dated March 6, 2017 were approved with a
motion by Jim Anderson and second by Julio Facelli. Motion passed unanimously.
Executive Committee Report
Bill Johnson said that everything seen by the Executive Committee in its previous meeting would
be seen by the Senate today. He also noted that the U hosted the PAC–12 Academic Leadership
Coalition conference this weekend; discussions focused on non–tenure–track faculty in shared
governance, and campus climate and safety.
Request for New Business
No new business
Report from Administration
President Pershing gave a report regarding the university administration’s recent activities. He
noted that the legislative session is drawing to a close. It appears that the U will get 2% for
compensation, plus increases in health benefits. Regarding programmatic funding for the state,
there will be $3.5 million for growth (this is the first time in more than a decade that the
legislature has funded student growth), $6.5 million in performance funding (predicated upon
graduation rate and other university–wide metrics), additional funding for Regents scholarships,
over $6 million for the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and $4 million for engineering initiatives.
Medical education building funded over the next three years ($50 million).
Report from ASUU
No report from ASUU
Notice of Intent
No items of intent
Brenda Bowen presented the proposal for a new Water Center. The Global Change and
Sustainability Center was established in 2009 to facilitate interaction across colleges and
departments around sustainability. It has grown from 24 faculty to almost 140 faculty, and has
increased in breadth. There is now a need to refocus with the establishment of some sub–centers.
The first is the Water Center, which will capitalize upon momentum and interest. This is also an
opportunity to brand the U as a place with interdisciplinary expertise in water.
Motion was made by Jim Anderson to approve the proposal and forward to the Board of
Trustees. Motion seconded by Joanne Yaffe. Motion passed unanimously.
John Bohnsack and Aimee Hersch presented the proposal for a division restructure within the
Pediatrics department. The result will be one non–free–standing division reorganized into two
non–free–standing divisions. The allergy division was started within the division of rheumatology
as a way to give it structure, but both have grown and are distinct enough to require separate
divisions. Motion was made by Per Gesteland to approve the proposal and forward to the Board
of Trustees. Motion seconded by Joanne Yaffe. Motion passed unanimously.
Bart Raeymaekers presented a proposal for a new Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center.
The plan is driven by a funding award made to the U to establish this center. There is a center in
each state and in Puerto Rico, and Utah’s center was just awarded to the U after a competitive
advanced technology and workforce training. The funding award is for five years, with a non–
competitive renewal for another five years. The center will employ ten full–time staff, two
graduate students, and several interns. Motion was made by Jim Anderson to approve the
proposal and forward to the Board of Trustees. Motion seconded by Joanne Yaffe. Motion
Randy Dryer, Hank Liese, and Harriet Hopf presented the concluding report for the Senate
Career–Line Faculty Task Force. Through surveys and other fact–gathering methods, the Task
Force developed research findings and recommends several actions be taken. Findings include:
career–line faculty play an important role of fulfilling the university’s mission by engaging in
teaching, research, and scholarship, providing service within and outside of the U, and holding
administrative positions at the U; career–line faculty play an important role in fulfilling the U’s
commitment to shared governance; and serious issues surrounding compensation and benefits for
career–line faculty were uncovered during the survey, despite generally high morale among
career–line faculty. The report also includes several recommendations for action that may be
taken to increase the stature of career–line faculty on campus. With presentation of this report,
the current Task Force has completed its charged responsibilities and will be dissolved at the end
of this academic year. The recommendations include forming a new committee for the 2017–
2018 year to carry out further work. The Task Force has proposed that the Senate “endorse” the
findings and recommendations of the report. Motion was made by [unclear] to endorse the
report. Motion seconded by [unclear]. Motion passed unanimously.
Therese de Raedt presented a proposal for name changes for the MA and PhD degrees, from the
old names of degrees. Languages and Literature to the new names— World Languages and
Cultures. The proposal for the name changes follows the recent change in the department name;
the new degree names will align with the department name. Motion was made by Joanne Yaffe
to approve the proposal and forward to the Board of Trustees. Motion seconded by [unclear].
Motion passed unanimously.
Information and Recommendations Calendar
The following items were presented for the information and recommendations of the Academic
Karen Paisley, the U’s Faculty Athletics Representative, gave a report about her
activities. She monitors the academic experience of student–athletes on campus; time
demands and student–athlete welfare have been recent important topics. She also works
on U compliance with NCAA and PAC–12 regulations. She wants to increase
communication and transparency with the academic side of the university. Another of
Karen’s focuses is to enable student–athletes to choose majors that are meaningful to
them, and work with departments and the student–athletes’ practice and competition
schedules to ensure it is possible. She also introduced two student–athletes, who gave
brief presentations about what is like to be a student–athlete at the U. Travel presents a
challenge for student–athletes, who frequently have to miss classes during their seasons;
online courses help with this challenge.
Dave Kieda presented report of the provisional approval of a new center—titled as the
Consortium for Dark Sky Studies. This has been a collaborative effort across many
representatives. Utah has some of the darkest skies in the United States, and there are
many facets to the implications of dark skies, including bird migration patterns,
establishment of microclimates, sleep patterns, city and metropolitan planning concerns,
sociological factors, ecotourism economic benefits, etc. The National Park Service is
funding this organization, and other grants are likely to follow. The new center has been
provisionally approved by the central administration (expedited approval on a provisional
basis); which is being reported for the information of the Senate, and within three years a
proposal for permanent approval will be brought for Senate debate.
Bob Kessler presented the report of the initial three–year review for the Master of
Entertainment Arts and Engineering degree. Since being approved, the new degree
program has graduated 94 students, and 90 percent have jobs in the games industry. The
program continues to grow; there are currently 120 students in the two current cohorts.
The program is ranked third in the world for games design programs.
Milind Deo presented the report of the initial three–year review for the Master of Science
in Petroleum Engineering degree. There is a growing demand for petroleum engineers in
the US, due to increasing petroleum production. The online program started with a 50–
student enrollment; enrollment has slowed, due to decreasing oil prices. There is a strong
partnership with the Energy and Geosciences Institute to deliver the program.
Claudio Holzner presented the report of the initial three–year review for the Master of
Arts in Latin American Studies degree. The program has attracted foreign affairs officers
who are seeking advanced training in language and area studies, prior to being placed in
offices abroad. All students have graduated on time, and three students have graduated
early. Students must specialize in a discipline and an area, and students are required to
enter with third–year Spanish capabilities.
The John R. Park Teaching Fellowship award announcement was accepted.
No new business.
Meeting adjourned at 4:13 pm.