October 3, 2022
- CALL TO ORDER AND Announcements
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on October 3, 2022, was called to order at 3:00 pm by Senate President Sonia Salari. As had been announced on the Senate website and by email, this meeting was held using the Zoom online meeting platform. Attendance was confirmed by requiring Senate members (and invited guests and public attendees) to register in advance for the online meeting.
Present: Soheila Amirsoleimani, Andrew Anderson, Steven Bartlett, Michael Battistone, James Bekker, Adrian Bell, Matthew Bettini, Melissa Bobick, David Bowling, Simon Brewer, Jonathan Brogaard, Kenneth Bromberg, Jen Brown, Jessica Brown, Richard Brown, Luca Brunelli, Timothy Brusseau, Marc Calaf, Jon Chaika, Owen Chan, Holden Cheney, Gerald Cochran, Kevin Coe, Frank Drews, Nanette Dudley, Katie Durante, Nadja Durbach, Melinda Fagan, Zak Fang, Stacy Firth, Julia Franklin, Gina Frey, Manu Goyal, Jesse Graham, Lela Graybill, Amos Guiora, Sara Hart, Tucker Hermans, Anna Hodgson, William Holland, Heather Holmes, Harriet Hopf, Howard Horwitz, Susan Johnston, Bryan Jones, Sam Judd, Youjeong Kang, Srabani Karmakar, James Karner, Seth Keeton, Kai Kuck, John Lin, Jack Longino, Alysse Loomis, Janis Louie, Benvin Lozada, Sarah Lucas, Kate Lunnen, Stacy Manwaring, Nancy McLaughlin, Meeyoung Min, Eugene Mishchenko, Ed Muñoz, AJ Myers, Anna Neatrour, Will Nesse
, Dave Norwood, Adrian Palmer, Yihui Pan, Robert Parker, Alek Peterlin, Susie Porter, Codrina Rada, Alessandro Rigolon, Ofer Rog, Carol Sansone, Nathan Seegert, Paul Shami, Xiaoming Sheng, Chris Simon, Jamesina Simpson, Wayne Springer, Sondra Stegenga , Casey Tak, Matt Tokson, Patrick Tripeny, Jessica Van Der Volgen, Jim VanDerslice, Seetha Veeraghanta, Muskan Walia, Ryan Walker, Jennifer Watt, Peter West, Jaclyn Winter, Zhou Yu
Excused with substitute: Michael Abrahamson, Atif Ellahie, Eric Handman, Jay Jordan, Alyssa Lee, Anthony Tenney
Excused: Rory Hume
Absent: Yoshimi Anzai, Pinar Bayrak-Toydemir, Lizabeth Cowgill, Janice Darko, Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, Leslie Halpern, Max Hernandez-Nietling, Audrey Laney, Titus Larrieu, Shelley Lawrence, Feng Liu, Frank McAlpin, Mikaila McIntyre, Sean Redmond, Maggie Tesch, Melodie Weller, Kilo Zamora
Ex Officio: Mike Braak, Shanti Deemyad, Robert Fujinami, Michael Good, Savannah Manwill (by substitute), Paul Mogren, Allyson Mower, Christina Porucznik, Lisa Rigtrup, Sonia Salari, Martell Teasley, Jane Laird
Announcements: Senate President Sonia Salari announced that, based on the recent Senate Participation Survey, a decision was made to continue to hold Academic Senate meetings remotely on Zoom, plus provide additional in-person social opportunities. Senate members had expressed a significant preference for this option.
The survey also revealed that some disliked how voting has been conducted on Zoom. She explained that, after consulting with the Senate officers, the Zoom voting procedure will be adjusted, starting this meeting. Pandemic conditions in March 2020 required a sudden change from holding in-person meetings to holding Senate meetings remotely. The Zoom meeting voting procedure was at that time changed to a simplified “reverse” voting order that counted those opposed and abstaining first, and the remaining votes assumed to be approvals. Now that participants are more proficient in holding online meetings, the Senate can revert to a “forward” voting procedure that matches the previous in-person meeting order. The Senate President will ask first to count the vote of those in favor, then count those who are opposed, and then count those who abstain. The Zoom meeting platform counts the hands raised. The Senate Operations Coordinator, or other officer, will lower the digital hands that were raised between the called votes to improve efficiency.
Senate President Salari expressed appreciation and congratulations to the Academic Senate members for their quick adaptation to forward voting. It allows for the modernization of workplace flexibility and access, while also valuing long-held traditions of in-person voting methods.
Sonia then welcomed and introduced Michael Braak, the new Senate Operations Coordinator. Other updates and reminders included: Honorary degree nominations due date, SVPAA candidate campus visits dates, and the new option to use instructor name preferences for the published Spring 2023 class schedule. The 2022-23 Senate membership photo roster is available for download on BoardDocs. Faculty volunteers to fill newly allocated member seats on university-wide benefits committees are needed. Those interested in applying can contact Mary Beth Vogel-Ferguson, Chair of the Senate Advisory Committee on Academic Policy.
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes dated August 29, 2022, were approved upon a motion from Muskan Walia and a second from Julia Franklin. There were 6 abstentions.
- REQUEST FOR NEW BUSINESS
Senate President Salari agreed to Harriet Hopf’s request to further discuss the voting procedure change in the New Business section of the agenda.
- CONSENT CALENDAR
The Faculty Matters Reports were approved after a motion from Harriet Hopf and a second from Benvin Lozada. There were 4 abstentions.
Report from Administration
Interim SVP Martell Teasley reported that the Council of Academic Deans has discussed the recent Senate Advisory Committee on Strategic Planning faculty survey results. Those indicated that workload is a challenge for respondents across colleges. Childcare is also a noted issue for employees. Faculty salary increase discussions are forthcoming, and those present can expect updates. Finally, the four-to-six-year graduation rate is 67.4% for all students and 57% for Pell recipients. His office will be strategizing with deans on ways to improve that rate so that it is meets university goals.
Later in the meeting, SVP Michael Good thanked faculty members for attending, and recognized Dean Keith Diaz Moore from the College of Architecture + Planning, who has announced he is stepping down from deanship in April 2023. SVP Good called attention to the presence on campus this week of finalist candidates for SVP of Academic Affairs. The ground-breaking ceremony for Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine will be held October 19th. The Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities accreditation process is ongoing, and materials have been submitted. Accreditation onsite visits and meetings are scheduled for 10/19, 10/20, and 10/21. Finally, he recognized the 50th anniversary of Title IX and recounted a campus commemoration event, as well as the legacy of women’s sports at the University.
Executive Committee Report: Summer Recess Provisional Approval Actions
Senate President-elect Shanti Deemyad reported that, at its September 19, 2022, meeting, the Senate Executive Committee (EC) determined this Senate meeting’s agenda, and she summarized those actions.
Report from ASUU
Benvin Lozada, ASUU Vice President for Internal Relations, reported increased attendance for Homecoming and Red Fest events and progress on revitalizing the Campus Safety Committee and Student Commission. He reported that ASUU has heard concerns from international students, especially relating to housing accommodations, services, and support. The student housing shortage and the availability of winter break housing remain important ASUU issues. Benvin noted the efforts of Senator Sam Judd, who is pursuing the formation of an Asian Student Resource Center. Other updates included addressing parking issues and continuing the free printing program. Discussion of student winter break housing continued; several senators expressed concern about the potential impact on international students if there is a problem with availability. Additional Senate discussion was moved to the Open Discussion portion of the agenda.
- NOTICE OF INTENT CALENDAR
There were no items for the Notice of Intent Calendar
- DEBATE CALENDAR
Program Discontinuation: Master of Science-Sports Medicine
The Physical Therapy and Athletic Training Department is discontinuing its Master of Science-Sports Medicine (MSSM), reported Professor Justin Rigby. New professional education and accreditation standards meant that all athletic training professional programs had to transition by offering a new and different entry-level master’s degree by 2022. There is now no value in getting the MSSM. The last student cohort ended in 2020, and department faculty were unanimous in supporting this proposal. After a second from Tim Brusseau, Jennifer Watt’s motion to approve the discontinuation proposal passed.
New Undergraduate Certificate: Cognitive Science
Professor Eric Hutton, representing the Department of Philosophy, summarized a proposal for a new interdisciplinary Undergraduate Certificate in Cognitive Science. It builds on an extremely popular cognitive science minor, which is the second largest minor in the College of Humanities. Because of that, it will have neutral impact on financial and administrative resources. A motion to approve the proposal was offered by Sam Judd and seconded by Harriet Hopf. The motion passed with one opposed.
Policy 7-100: Research Committees
The parts of Policy 7-100 University Research Committees that cover the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and the Institutional Review Board (IRB) have been updated to make sure they comply with federal regulations. Caren Frost, AVP for Research Integrity & Compliance, outlined the proposed substantive changes and answered members’ clarifying questions. Jim VanDerslice moved to approve the Policy 7-100 revisions. After a second from Sam Judd, the motion passed.
- INFORMATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS CALENDAR
Campus Contraceptive Initiative (CCI)
The Campus Contraceptive Initiative (CCI) was presented by David Turok, Claudia Geist, and Jessica Sanders on behalf of the Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health-Access, Science, Coverage, Equity, iNnovation and Training (ASCENT). Its Director, David Turok, noted that is a challenging time for reproductive and sexual health. He explained that the ASCENT Center continues to work on increasing access, education, and coverage for reproductive and sexual health on campus, in the community, and throughout the Mountain West. The CCI is a campus initiative with three goals: provide no cost contraceptive services to faculty, staff, and students and their partners; enhance access to no-cost emergency contraception; enhance sexuality and reproductive health education and awareness.
The purpose of meeting with the Senate is to ask for a statement of Senate support, which would add another powerful voice in demonstrating to administration that CCI’s resource requests are broadly supported. ASCENT Director of Research, Jessica Sanders, clarified that this initiative is not impacted by current legislative issues. General discussion included ideas of how best and how fast to generate a Senate support statement. Ideas included consulting with the ASCENT team and its Office of General Council liaison to get a head start on a statement by using their knowledge and existing materials. Senator Amos Guiora cautioned that the language of a resolution will need to be carefully considered. Senator Susie Porter explained that the process needs to be as rapid as possible. There was a general agreement that any proposed statements be discussed during a Senate meeting–and not through email—and be carefully considered and presented in as timely a manner as feasible in light of the other objectives. Harriet Hopf moved that the Academic Senate Leadership appoint a group to draft a resolution in support of the CCI program. The ad hoc group would bring that draft to the Academic Senate for discussion and vote as soon as possible. The motion passed after a second from Amos Guiora. There were 3 opposed and 2 abstaining.
Seeking volunteers for the 2019-approved Senate Ad Hoc Task Force to Investigate the Formation of a Graduate Assembly
Graduate School Dean David Kieda explained that the previous Senate-approved Senate Ad Hoc Task Force to Investigate the Formation of a Graduate Assembly faltered during the pandemic. To re-establish the Task Force, he outlined ideas on populating it with a representative membership in the next months. It is important to have faculty representation because these members will be able to provide the year-to-year continuity necessary. He asked for Senate input and volunteers to participate in formulating a final proposal to bring back to the Senate in April 2023. Those interested can contact Dean Kieda or the Senate Office.
University Connected Learning Update
AVP for University Connected Learning (UCL) Deborah Keyek-Franssen gave UCL updates, reviewing the progress of the Online Degree Initiative and discussing online exam proctoring issues raised by a recent Ohio court case. The Office of General Counsel recommends that instructors do not allow room scans. Included in the meeting materials also was a list of UCL Digital Learning Exam Services. Senators and other attendees conveyed the difficulties faculty and students have encountered when trying to work with the Testing Center. AVP Keyek-Franssen committed to investigating the situation further and continuing to address the situation with the Senate.
Racist Biased Incident Report Team (RBIRT) Update
The Racist Biased Incident Report Team (RBIRT) update report was presented by Dean of Students Jason Ramirez. He reiterated that RBIRT is not an investigative or enforcement body; it provides a platform for communication, data collection, and support. One of its jobs is to make sure that the university community understands what is occurring on campus in regard to these types of incidents. Before the formation of RBIRT, reporting was decentralized, and the goal is to now streamline the communications process and ensure that University responses are standardized to maintain equity. His office is asking community members to report when they see or experience a racist or biased incident. He reviewed the RBIRT process conducted once a report has been filed, highlighting that its function is to help communicate and coordinate with affected parties, enforcement authorities, and university resources according to the individual aspects of a case.
UofU West Valley Hospital Health Opportunity Impact
Anna Carpenter, Senior Director for Presidential Initiatives, was joined by Cameron Wright, Chase Hagood, and Jenny Mayer-Glenn to present an update and overview of the University of Utah West Valley initiative. The initiative aims to build a campus at the West Valley site using a new model of how leading research universities can collaborate with communities to achieve positive social impacts. After reviewing the model for engagement for equal co-input between the university, the community and partners, plus other important design and research aspects, the presenters solicited direct feedback through either a shared Google document or direct contact.
Senate Participation Survey Discussion
After thanking those that provided input, Sonia Salari and Mike Braak reviewed member responses from the recent Senate Participation Survey. The result was an overwhelming preference for continuing to hold Senate meetings remotely. Mike walked through the quantitative data, noting that 104 Senate members responded to the survey. Sonia identified some of the themes generated by member comments. The final decision is to continue to hold Senate meetings on Zoom, while also scheduling additional in-person events and socials that facilitate personal interactions.
- NEW BUSINESS
Harriet Hopf asked Senators if the change in the order of Senate voting procedures, identified earlier in the meeting, would benefit from additional canvassing. After general discussion and explanations from the Senate Parliamentarian Paul Mogren, no further actions were proposed.
- OPEN DISCUSSION
Senator Hopf called for the Senate to form a group to report on the availability of winter break student housing, given the urgency of the issue. Senate President Sonia Salari relayed an email message received in-meeting from a representative of Housing and Residential Education (HRE). It explained that HRE will have stay over options, except for Sage Point, Gateway, and Chapel Glen student residences. Students in those buildings will have the option of temporary stays in the University Guest House (UGH). Senator Sam Judd made a motion to postpone discussion to a later date. Senator Tucker Hermans, seconded, and noted that further clarification from HRE is needed since the UGH is being used for student housing already this year, which is a change from previous years. Senate President Salari encourages individuals interested in discussing this issue prior to the next Senate meeting should contact Senator Benvin Lozada. The motion to postpone discussion of possible student winter break housing problems was approved by acclamation.
Meeting adjourned at 5:44 pm.