October 4, 2021
- CALL TO ORDER AND WELCOME
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on October 4, 2021, was called to order at 3:00 pm by Senate President Christy Porucznik. As had been announced on the Senate website and by email, this meeting was held using the Zoom online meeting platform due to COVID-19 pandemic conditions. Attendance was confirmed by requiring Senate members (and invited guests and public attendees) to register in advance for the online meeting.
Present: Michael Abrahamson, Serena Aeschilman, Rohit Aggarwal, Sharon Aiken-Wisniewski, Soheila Amirsoleimani, Yoshimi Anzai, Gloria Aquino, Matthew Bettini, Melissa Bobick, David Bowling, Simon Brewer, Jonathan Brogaard, Kenneth Bromberg, Jen Brown, Jessica Brown, Richard Brown, Luca Brunelli, Erin Castro, Adrienne Cataxinos, Owen Chan, Divya Chandrasekhar, Thomas Cheatham, Holden Cheney, Sarah Creem-Regehr, Stuart Culver, Shanti Deemyad, Nadja Durbach, Stacy Firth, Gina Frey, Sydney Gilliand, Manu Goyal, Lela Graybill, Amos Guiora, Eric Handman, Sara Hart, Bill Hesterly, Anna Hodgson, John Hollerbach, Harriet Hopf, Howard Horwitz, Bradley Hunter, Alexander Hyres, Luis Ibarra, Jeremiah Jaggers, Thunder Jalili, Jay Jordan, James Karner, R. James Keddington, Seth Keeton, Matti Koenig, Keith Koper, Mike Lewis, John Lin, Shane Lloyd, Kerry Lohmeier, Jack Longino, Gabriel Lozada, Robin Marcus, Frank McAlpin, Staci McIntosh, Nancy McLaughlin, Rajesh Menon, Ed Muñoz, Anna Neatrour, Kent Ono, Adrian Palmer, Marcel Paret, Robert Parker, Jeff Pettey, Susie Porter, Tom Quinn, Emi Radetich, Kevin Rathunde, Alessandro Rigolon, Ofer Rog, Alan Rogers, Xiaoming Sheng, Doug Shumway, Momina Sial, Tim Smith, Brian Snapp, Taylor Sparks, Ryan Steele, Dave Symons, Maggie Tesch, Kent Udell, Hunter Underhill, Seetha Veeraghanta, Muskan Walia, Crystal Wallenius, Melodie Weller, Peter West, Jaclyn Winter, Jaehee Yi, Kilo Zamora, Susan Zickmund
Excused: Michael Battistone,
Excused with substitute: Erin Beeghly, Jessica Van Der Volgen
Absent: Robert Bowles, Juliet Carlisle, Promothesh Chatterjee, Gerald Cochran, Hilary Coon, Annette Fleckenstein, Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, Srikanth Iyengar, Youjeong Kang, Audrey Laney, Titus Larrieu, Connor Leeming, Lakshan Lingam, Kelly MacArthur, Eugene Mishchenko, Sean Redmond, Jeff Schwartz, Paul Shami, Roger Silvers, Daniel Vargo, Jessica Wojciechowski, Brandon Zielinski
Ex Officio: Randy Dryer, Robert Fujinami, Michael Good, Lisa Hutton, Jane Laird, Paul Mogren, Allyson Mower, Christina Porucznik, Sarah Projansky, Taylor Randall, Daniel Reed, Sonia Salari, Jo Scofield
- APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes dated August 30, 2021, were approved upon a motion from Harriet Hopf and a second by Sonia Salari, with 2 abstentions.
- REQUEST FOR NEW BUSINESS
Senate President Porucznik reported that she had received one request for New Business from a Senator that will be discussed later in the meeting.
The Senate Executive Committee had approved placing some agenda items, which would usually be on the Senate Debate Calendar for a vote, to instead be presented on the Senate Consent Calendar. These items would be those that did not appear to be controversial, nor have any procedural or content issues. For this Senate meeting, the following proposal had been placed on the Consent Calendar: SACUSP Vacancy Nomination. Also on the Consent Calendar were the Faculty Matters reports which included:
- Resignations, Administrative and Faculty Appointments
- Career-line, Adjunct and Visiting Faculty Appointments
- Emeritus Appointments
Christy explained that items on the Consent Calendar can be pulled to the regular agenda if a Senator would like to discuss it further. Harriet Hopf submitted a motion to approve all items on the Consent Calendar. This passed after a second from Brian Snapp. There was one abstention.
- Report from Administration
Senior Vice President Daniel Reed highlighted recent events at the University. In order to register for the spring term, students will need to either declare a vaccine exemption or provide proof of immunization. The 2020 and 2021 Presidential Scholars were celebrated recently. These awards recognize extraordinary promise of mid-career faculty. Talking to those faculty members was a good reminder of the bright future, and present too, of the University. Employee Appreciation Day will be held this year on October 14. Senior Vice President Michael Good added that the UofU health sciences has experienced research recruiting success and high health care delivery quality rankings. The health system continues to be stressed by workforce shortages, increasing demand for services, and COVID conditions. However, the trajectory of health care services, research and curriculum is extremely positive.
- Executive Committee Report
Senate President-elect Sonia Salari explained that the Senate Executive Committee met on September 20 and approved the agenda presented to the Senate at this meeting. Other informational items were discussed. She relayed that the pandemic-related faculty instructional guidelines will continue to evolve as circumstances change and staying current will require checking the website coronavirus.utah.edu regularly. In addition, Sonia informed Senate members that the Senate Executive Committee had approved a revised College of Architecture and Planning College Council Charter, which was available with this meeting’s meeting materials.
- Report from ASUU
There was no ASUU report for this meeting
- NOTICE OF INTENT CALENDAR
Proposed Permanent Rule R1-011A: Body Worn Cameras Regulation
An Interim Rule R1-011A: Body Worn Cameras Regulation had been signed by Interim President Good earlier in the summer and is currently in effect. Brian Nicholls, Special Assistant to the Chief Safety Officer, Jason Hinojosa, Deputy Chief of UofU Police, and Keith Squires, Interim Chief Safety Officer, asked the Senate to consider the proposed permanent Rule presented at this meeting. The Interim Rule approved in July had been revised with input from campus partners and stakeholders including ASUU, Senate Executive Committee, Surveillance System Administrators Committee (SSAC), Independent Review Committee (IRC), and others. The benefits of utilizing body-worn cameras include improving accountability and transparency. The equipment is currently being used by campus safety personnel, and Utah State Law requires establishing a policy or rule about using body-worn cameras containing regulations about usage, sharing, and storage. The team asked Senators to circulate this information among colleagues and send any feedback received because the permanent policy proposal will be on the Senate debate calendar at the November 1, 2021, meeting.
- DEBATE CALENDAR
New Degree: BS Software Development; EAE emphasis
Erin Parker presented a proposal for a new degree from the School of Computing, a BS Software Development (BSSD). As the School’s Associate Director for Academic Affairs, she was standing in for faculty member Daniel Kopta, who could not attend. She added that an emphasis in Entertainment Arts and Engineering will also be offered. The BSSD degree will provide students with the critical skills needed to fill the large unmet demand for software developers in Utah. Coursework will begin with the fundamentals of computational problem solving and software engineering, then focus on so full stack development including web and mobile software, databases, and other areas. BSSD will also emphasize human-centric skills such as product design, team and business management, ethics, and entrepreneurship. No additional funding is needed because the program builds on the current curriculum and faculty expertise. After a second from Richard Brown, Serena Aeschilman’s motion to approve the proposal passed.
Proposed Permanent Policy 6-407: General Student Fees
Mark Winter, AVP for Budget and Planning, explained that Interim President Mike Good had authorized a new Interim Policy 6-407, General Student Fees, effective July 1, 2021, in accord with University Policy 1-001 (III.4.d). The interim implementation was put in place to comply with a revised Board of Higher Education General Student Fee policy by its deadline. This item had been introduced at the August 30, 2021, Senate meeting on its Intent Calendar to get feedback prior to introducing the final proposed policy at this meeting. Mark summarized the
significant changes that included: Changes the role of chairperson for the General Student Fee Board to one of the student members (currently it states the AVP for Budget & Planning chairs the board); Changes the final approver for the general student fee process to the University Board of Trustees (currently policy states the President of the University provides the final approval); Adds a requirement to do a full review by the student fee board and Board of Trustees once every five years (new requirement); Adds a provision stating that the student fee board should specifically consider whether or not they recommend any existing fees should be terminated and moved to tuition (new to policy). Alan Rogers moved to approve the permanent Policy. The motion passed after a second from Sonia Salari.
Program Change: Special Education Distance Learning Modalities
The Department of Special Education requests formal approval to offer master’s programs and bachelor’s level emphases as distance-education and online programs at locations within and outside of the state of Utah, reported Matt Jameson. Special Education has been offering distance education options from many years and wants to meet Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) approval requirements for distance learning modalities. He itemized reasons that the Department needs to continue to encompass distance learning options and the programs that this approval would cover. The request included formal approval to offer practicum/student teaching experiences to be completed at locations outside of the state of Utah. This approval will allow the department to continue to address the critical and persistent shortage of special education teachers in Utah and surrounding states. Serena Aeschilman’s motion to approve the program change passed after a second from Brian Snapp.
- NEW BUSINESS
Presidential Search Resolution Draft
Earlier in the meeting Senator Jay Jordan had explained in his request for new business why he wanted to present a Presidential Search Resolution to Senate members. The Resolution calls on the Academic Senate to express concern about the timetable and some of the processes of the recently concluded University of Utah presidential search. Specifically, the first concern was the tight turnaround time between when faculty and the university community could offer input after the meeting with candidates, on August 4, and when the final hiring decision was made and communicated by the Board of Higher Education. It was less than 24 hours, giving the impression that this body of input could not have been considered prior to the final decision. The other concern was the extent of available faculty participation in the final stage of the process. Faculty members who were not physically present during the visit of the three presidential candidates on August 4th were not able to ask questions unless they had submitted one prior to the meeting. He explained that two avenues had been discussed with the Senate Executive Committee. One was forming a task force to conduct additional investigation and provide recommendation; the other was approving a Resolution to present to the Utah Board of Higher Education. He explained that his goal is to make sure that this topic was fully deliberated in the Senate and was open to other options that were effective in achieving the aims of the Senate body. Jay presented a Presidential Search Resolution draft for consideration and moved that the Senate adopt this resolution addressing concerns about opportunities to participate in university presidential searches at the University of Utah. Serena Aeschilman seconded this motion. Senate President Christy Porucznik then asked for a vote on the initial motion from Senator Jordan to adopt the presented Resolution. This motion failed with 53 against, 11 abstaining, and 7 for the motion. [Note: numbers are approximate due to the difficulties of tabulating a real-time electronic vote. However, Senate officers noted that a strong majority wished to dismiss the motion presented and proceeded from there.]
There was then an extensive and detailed discussion about the relative advantages of three options to address these concerns: promoting a Senate Resolution, forming a Senate task force, or forwarding a Senate-sanctioned letter. Randy Dryer, after offering perspectives from his participation on the Presidential Search Committee, identified a third concern and that was the faculty had less than a week notice of the day the candidates would conduct campus visits. Randy moved to postpone action on the Resolution until the next Senate meeting and that the Senate President be authorized to draft a letter addressing the three primary deficiencies that occurred in the search process. This would then be submitted at next month’s meeting along with the Resolution as an alternative to discuss and approve. This motion was not seconded. Randy withdrew this motion and subsequent motions suggesting developing a Senate letter because he preferred the choice of forming a task force to study the concerns presented.
Eventually there was general agreement to examine the timing and input limits issues discussed by forming a task force. Harriet Hopf moved that Senate leadership develop a committee charge and member roster for a small, efficient task force, which would submit a report identifying areas of concern and recommending solutions to the Senate in Spring 2022. After a second from Brian Snapp, the motion passed with one opposed.
Meeting adjourned at 5:18 pm.