May 1, 2023
- CALL TO ORDER AND Announcements
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on May 1, 2023, was called to order at 3:00 pm by Senate President Sonia Salari. The meeting was held using the Zoom online meeting platform. Attendance records are not available due to a technical issue.
Senate President Salari reminded members about the Senate social on Monday, May 8th, 5-7PM, at the Alumni House, a year-end celebration of the Senate’s accomplishments. She then noted the important election procedures in place for this meeting. The schedule for the 23-24 Academic Senate and Senate Executive Committee meetings can be found with the meeting materials.
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes dated April 10, 2023, were approved upon a motion from Shanti Deemyad and a second from Harriet Hopf.
- REQUEST FOR NEW BUSINESS
Senator Jay Jordan wanted to offer some updates on AI detection software developments, of interest to all faculty, but did not need an action for it. He encouraged faculty to be mindful of the limitations and nuances of AI detection platforms, and thanked Anne Cook, Center for Technical Education, and John Thomas, Digital Learning, for their responses to that type of software’s reliability and accuracy concerns.
- CONSENT CALENDAR
Senate President Salari identified the items on the meeting’s Consent Calendar:
- Faculty Resignations and Appointments Reports
- Center Name Change: Sorenson Center
- New Graduate Certificate: Teaching in Higher Education
- New Undergraduate Certificate: Systems Engineering
- Initial Center Authorization: Osher Center for Integrative Health
All items on the Consent Calendar were approved after a motion from Harriet Hopf and a second from Benvin Lozada.
- SPECIAL ORDER- Annual SPEC Report and Elections
The Chair of the Senate Personnel and Elections Committee (SPEC), Dale Larsen, summarized the annual SPEC report. He announced the results of the 2023-24 Senator and Senate committee elections and recommended that if a Senator sees the name of a colleague on the elected lists, they send their congratulations and helpful ideas to these new colleagues. Dale offered that the more UofU community members network and communicate with each other, the more effective shared governance is. The remaining vacancies on Senate committees were also posted.
Every voting Senator should have received a link to the in-meeting Senate Leadership Election Ballot, and Dale outlined the in-meeting electronic Senate leadership election ballot content background and election procedures. He and Paul Mogren were the elections officials, and Mike Braak was the key contact for issues encountered with the Qualtrics ballot or link.
He introduced Harriet Hopf, the candidate for 2023-24 Senate President-elect. Harriet gave her candidate statement for Senators’ consideration, referring also to the statement posted with the meeting materials. Dale opened the electronic elections for 30 minutes to voting-eligible Senators.
- REPORTS (ADMINISTRATION; EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE; ASUU)
Report from Administration
[presented before 5. SPECIAL ORDER- Annual SPEC Report and Elections]
President Taylor Randall congratulated Senate President Salari and the Senate for the accomplishments of this past academic year. He then reviewed recent notable faculty awards and offered highlights of the upcoming May 4 Commencement, such as the record number of graduates. He noted the success of the Imagine New Heights capital campaign; $3 billion has been raised.
SVP Michael Good gave updates on construction projects on the health sciences campus. Site preparation for the new medical education building has begun, and Building 521 will be closing soon. Hospital and emergency room capacities are currently being challenged. One influence could be the overall increasing number of patients in the UofU health system; the situation is not a result of any pandemic influences.
SVP Mitzi Montoya updated the Senate on her office’s collaboration with VPR Erin Rothwell to improve research funding processes. She also recommended following the Dean of Students’, Chase Haygood, updates on the Navigate U initiative. It is focused on elevating the UofU student experience beginning with the admissions process through to post-graduation and alumni status. The goal is to meet student needs in a preemptive way rather than reactive. SVP Montoya encouraged senate members’ questions and feedback on the initiative. In response to Senator Howard Horwitz’s question about graduate student stipend increases, and the sources of funding required, that need more competitive earmarking, she discussed various philanthropic and grant allocations as expected sources. The goal is to make sure that graduate students see stipend and scholarship support increases in place during the next academic year.
Executive Committee Report
[presented after 5. SPECIAL ORDER- Annual SPEC Report and Elections]
Senate President-elect Shanti Deemyad introduced a Resolution in Appreciation Recognizing 2022-2023 President Sonia Salari. Parliamentarian Paul Mogren presented it to the Senate, asking it to be accepted by Senate acclimation. Among the many attributions to Sonia’s presidency, some highlights included noting that she was a leader dedicated to the success of shared governance, who communicated effectively with Senate members, her Senate leadership team, and the university administration on behalf of the faculty. In sum, Senate President Salari was lauded for her extraordinary ability to be an effective team leader through thoughtful consideration of issues and input provided by the many Senate shareholders.
President-elect Deemyad also thanked Sonia for her mentorship and guidance. Shanti summarized the disposition of the items presented at the Senate Executive Committee (EC) April 17 meeting, outlining the matters placed on the Consent, Intent, Information, and Debate calendars. She also explained that the EC approved the formation of a task force, to be implemented by the Senate President, to investigate the issues raised at the previous meeting about the campus emergency closure procedures; the Senate does not need to take action at this time.
Report from ASUU
Parliamentarian Paul Mogren presented a Resolution Recognizing the University of Utah Academic Senate 2022-2023 Student Senators. The Resolution expressed appreciation for the prominent level of engagement and commitment in the Academic Senate shared governance process, including a note of appreciation for ASUU President Taylor Vandertoolen’ leadership. ASUU Senators Muskan Walia, Benvin Lozada, and Sarah Lucas, who served on the Senate Executive Committee, were also honored for their outstanding participation this year. Paul asked President Salari for the acceptance of the Resolution by unanimous consent.
ASUU VP Benvin Lozada gave the end-of-year 2022-2023 ASUU report, highlighting notable accomplishments, programs, initiatives, and events. Student leadership was able to tackle important topics such as campus student housing, inclusive community advocacy, updated general education requirements, and revisions of the student code. ASUU was proud to bring back large-scale programming initiatives that had been paused during the pandemic. Benvin noted that this work will set the stage for more ASUU growth in the future. The current ASUU officers are working very hard to ensure the smoothest transition possible to the new, incoming ASUU leaders.
ASUU Senate Chair Muskan Walia echoed Benvin’s appreciation for student efforts and programs and noted that the ASUU Senate had adjudicated over 400 pieces of legislation this year. She thanked the Senate for welcoming the student members and listening to the issues presented. The Academic Senate has been a fantastic community to be a part of, and she expressed appreciation of how it had welcomed and empowered student senators. She will miss working with the Senate but expressed that she knows that it will continue to listen to students and accomplish substantive work on their behalf. Senate President Salari thanked both Benvin and Muskan for their impressive contributions done on behalf of students.
- DEBATE CALENDAR
SACUSP 2023 Report
The Chair of the Senate Committee on University Strategic Planning (SACUSP), Randy Dryer, brought back to the Senate an updated Executive Summary on the proposal to revise existing university policy to give colleges greater flexibility in allocating the Senate membership between tenure-line (TL) and career-line (CL) faculty. He noted SACUSP held two town halls held on April 17 and 26 to collect Senator feedback, as described in the previous Senate meeting, and further publicized to the Senate email list. In addition, he and SACUSP member Harriet Hopf recounted the equity and representation issues in the current policy exampled by the recent composition change of all faculty between TL and CL. Other good examples are the current representation requirements for the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, as discussed at the previous Senate meeting.
Randy clarified that SACUSP was asking for a vote to approve the proposed concept as described in the SACUSP Executive Summary in the May 1 Senate meeting’s materials. That submission had been updated from the previous versions presented to the Senate Executive Committee and the Senate due to feedback. President Salari emphasized that the proposal does not change the initial voting seat assignment per college/area or overall size of the Senate; the change is granting more flexibility for colleges to increase career-line representation as appropriate, subject to guidelines. Those are that 1) at least half the voting members of the Senate as a whole are tenure-line faculty and 2) that each area has a minimum of one CL Senator per area. The proposal does not change the voting seats allocated to deans, Qualified Interdisciplinary Teaching Programs (QITP), or students. AVP Projansky noted that if the concept is approved by Senators, it would then need to be developed as a specific policy revision that is subject to the normal approval process for policy changes. Randy agreed with that edification, explaining that SACSUP is asking the Senate to approve the request for a policy change that enacts the aim of this proposal. The report’s Executive Summary outlines the objectives and guidelines proposed. Augmented by subsequent discussion as described, Nanette Dudley’s motion to approve the concept of allowing more flexibility to areas represented in the Senate when allocating seats between tenure-line and career-line faculty, as described by the Executive Summary of the proposal, was approved. The approval came after a second from Seetha Veeraghanta and a restatement of the proposed guidelines. Senate Policy Liaison Allyson Mower was asked to develop exact policy language and then begin the full approval process.
Initial Center Authorization: Dan Jones Center for Public Service
The Hinckley Institute of Politics (HIP) proposes to establish and house a university-wide center with an initial focus on providing public opinion research and public service resources to the university community and the state. HIP Director Jason Perry, accompanied by Morgan Cotti, explained that student programming in the proposed Dan Jones Center for Public Service will include learning experiences in information gathering—such as focus groups and polling–research, campaign management, and offering related public service-oriented internships. The Center will be named to honor the late Dan Jones. Harriet Hopf moved to recommend approval of this initial Dan Jones Center authorization to the President. After a second from Tim Brusseau, the motion passed.
Initial Center Authorization: Design Institute for Health and Resilience
Presenter Valerie Greer, faculty member of the School of Architecture, summarized a proposal to authorize the Design Institute for Health and Resilience (DIHR). It will be housed in the College of Architecture and Planning, and its mission is to develop and disseminate environmental design translational and applied research that further mental, physical, and emotional health and resilience across the lifespan and for populations most impacted by environmental quality.
She outlined the governance structure and board, explaining that DIHR would be an administrative home to start up funding and research activities seen as important in addressing environmental design aspects. Shanti Deemyad’s motion to recommend the DIHR proposal was approved after a second from Ed Munoz.
New Degree: Linguistics Bachelor of Science
Scott Jarvis, Linguistics Department Chair, Aaron Kaplan, Linguistics Department Director of Undergraduate Studies, and Karen Marsh, Director of Student Success and Engagement for the College of Humanities, presented a proposal for a Bachelor of Science degree in Linguistics. The department currently offers a BA in Linguistics, plus certificates in Computational Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. They explained that linguistics majors are increasingly pursuing jobs in tech industries. This proposal for a BS expands students’ career options, allows them to take courses that are more aligned with those careers, and better advertises their qualifications to employers. The BS in Linguistics was approved after a motion from Harriet Hopf and a second from Benvin Lozada.
- INFORMATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS CALENDAR
Two Graduate Council 7-year Reviews
Associate Dean of the Graduate School Katie Ullman summarized two Graduate Council program reviews. The Nutrition and Integrative Physiology Department offers an undergraduate minor, a doctoral program, and master’s programs aimed at preparing students as dieticians and researchers. A recommendation to consolidate the number of locations where faculty and staff are located would help overcome challenges in community building and in uniformity of training environments.
The Department of Education, Culture & Society was noted for its cohesive, collegial environment. Faculty have received prestigious awards and play important roles at the university and in the community, Recommendations include focusing on assessment of program effectiveness and outcomes and creating a strategic plan that anticipates faculty retirements and other challenges the department faces.
Information and Reports
Senate President Sonia Salari presented the following informational reports to the Senate for members’ review:
- School of Dentistry Charter
- Board of Trustees UofU President’s Report April 2023
- SPECIAL ORDER – Annual Elections
SPEC Chair Dale Larsen announced the results of the Senate leader elections. They were:
Senate May 01 2023 Election Results
Senate Executive Committee
Timothy A. Brusseau
Senate Personnel & Elections Committee
Brenda Van der Wiel
He congratulated all the new electees, and thanked Paul Mogren, Mike Braak, and Jane Laird for their assistance in organizing the in-meeting elections. Senate President Salari added her congratulations and appreciation to all who had put their names up for election, noting also that the Senate Officers look forward to working with them.
- SENATE PRESIDENT CLOSING REMARKS
Senate President Sonia Salari expressed her deep gratitude for everyone’s contributions to shared governance by their participation in the Academic Senate in the 2022-2023 academic year. She gave her full appreciation to every Senator and Senate Executive Committee member. Senate members did an amazing job this year. She then extended her appreciation for the smooth communications and efforts of the University administration members of the Senate, with a note that this includes the recent interim SVPAA Martell Teasley, President Randall, and SVPAA Mitzi Montoya and SVP HS Michael Good. Other notes were to thank AVPs Sarah Projansky and Trina Rich, from the Office of Faculty Academic Affairs also. President-elect Shanti Deemyad and Past President Christy Porucznik provided Senate leadership meetings by exemplifying teamwork and camaraderie. Other officers lauded included Senate Policy Liaison Allyson Mower and Parliamentarian Paul Mogren. The Senate Secretary, Jane Laird, had been graciously indispensable and a joy to work with. The new addition to the Senate leadership committee is Mike Braak, who did a wonderful job managing the committee’s data and schedules, website, and social events.
The Senate committees and their leadership efforts had contributed quite amount of work this year to the Senate and University, and she thanked them for those efforts. Most of all, the student senators, and not just those recognized in the ASUU Resolution earlier, were thanked. She is looking forward to working with the incoming ASUU leadership members too.
Sonia also reviewed many notable academic and policy issues tackled by the Senate during the year, as well as updates provided by UofU administrators. After noting that she was able to work closely with President-elect Deemyad, she said that the Senate is in great hands next year. She then handed Shanti the virtual gavel; President-elect Deemyad will be Senate President as of May 15.
Meeting adjourned at 4:50 pm.