September 30, 2019
CALL TO ORDER
The regular meeting of the Academic Senate, held on September 30, 2019, was called to order at 3:02 pm by Senate President Julio Facelli. The meeting was held in Henry Eyring Building, room 2004.
Present: Alan Abbinanti, Rohit Aggarwal, Sharon Aiken-Wisniewski, AnnaMarie Barnes, Amy Barrios, Pinar Bayrak-Toydemir, Gunseli Berik, Kirsten Butcher, Devon Cantwell, Laurel Caryn, Mike Caserta, Divya Chandrasekhar, Thomas Cheatham, Hilary Coon, Elizabeth Craft, Ann Engar, Diego Fernandez, Annette Fleckenstein, Candace Floyd, Kenneth (Bo) Foreman, Leslie Francis, Thomas Crane Giamo, Franz Goller, Moira Gray, Gema Guevara, Amos Guiora, Kim Hackford-Peer, Leslie Halpern, Rebecca Hardenbrook, Andrew C. Harris, Christel Hohenegger, John Hollerbach, Sierra Holmes, Christopher Hull, Luis Ibarra, Srikanth Iyengar, Thunder Jalili, Ken Johnson, R. James Keddington, Anne Kirchhoff, Keith Koper, Kim Korinek, Anne Lair, Rich Landward, Dale Larsen, Stephan LeBohec, Connor Leeming, Erik Lehnardt, Lauren Liang, Gabriel Lozada, Brad Lundahl, Don Ly, Hunter Mansfield, Danielle Martinez, Sharon Mastracci, Maureen Mathison, Staci McIntosh, Rajesh Menon, Dragan Milicic, Damon Ngo, Khue Nguyen, Kathleen Nicoll, Kent Ono, Rick Paine, Wanda Pillow, Christina Porucznik, Tom Quinn, Jon Rainier, Kalani Raphael, Angela Rasmussen, Terry Ring, Jeremy Rosen, Frank Sachse, Sonia Salari, Wesley Sasaki-Uemura, Sara Scholes, Jeff Schwartz, Jon Seger, Varun Selvam, Peyden Shelton, Helene Shugart, Roger Silvers, Debra Simmons, Sara Simonsen, Tim Smith, Ryan Steele, Kathryn Stockton, Dustin Stokes, James Sutherland, Thomas Swensen, Joshua Taylor, Alex Terrill, Amrinder Thind, Sylvia Torti, Elpitha Tsoutsounakis, Kent Udell, Brenda Van Der Wiel, Daniel Vargo, Neil Vickers, Jessica Wempen, Julie Wright-Costa, Jaehee Yi, FEng Zhang, Susan Zickmund
Excused with proxy: Shmuel Baruch, Kelly Bricker, Susanna Cohen, Hunter Underhill
Excused: Promothesh Chatterjee
Absent: Amy Cox, Shanti Deemyad, Patricia Hanna, Bill Hesterly, Kelly MacArthur, Krystal Moorman, Brandon Patterson, Georgi Rausch, Amnon Schlegel, Brian Snapp, Emily Thomas, Maria Velasco, Brandon Zielinski
Ex Officio: Randy Dryer, Julio Facelli, Robert Flores, Robert Fujinami, David Hill, Lisa Hutton, Paul Mogren, Sarah Projansky, Daniel Reed, Thomas Richmond, Billinda Tsuya, Ruth Watkins, Jane Laird
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes dated August 26, 2019 were approved upon a motion from Kathleen Nicoll and a second by Anna Barnes.
The faculty appointments and resignations lists were approved after a motion from Debra Simmons, seconded by Kent Udell.
SENATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REPORT
Senate President-elect Randy Dryer reported that the Senate Executive Committee had met on September 16, 2019 to set the agenda items for today’s Senate meeting. He offered advance notice that the Vice President of Research and the Conflict of Interest Office (COI) will be presenting proposals for revised individual COI disclosure policies at the November Academic Senate meeting. He then reviewed an update from the Academic Senate office announcing eight newly elected Senators who were chosen by their colleges to fill the terms of Senators who were not able to continue. He asked the new Senators to stand for a round of applause.
REPORT FROM ADMINSTRATION
Senior Vice President Daniel Reed introduced the administration’s report. He explained that the bulk of the report would focus on SafeU Month activities and so highlighted a few campus events to be aware of.
- The College Completion Summit, happening on campus today, is giving the University, and 22 other institutions that have experienced significant increases in graduation rates, an opportunity to share ideas and best practices. President Ruth Watkins is hosting and participating in the Summit this afternoon and so is unable to be on hand for most of today’s Senate meeting.
- SVP Reed and SVP Health Sciences Michael Good will be co-hosting an Air Quality Symposium where issues from a scientific and technical perspective will be discussed along with policy issues.
- The University of Utah will celebrate its part of being a founding partner in the creation of the internet 50 years ago this upcoming Monday.
- This week is Pride Week, which will highlight issues that concern our LBGTQ community.
SVP Reed wanted Senate members and meeting attendees to know that the University is unequivocally committed to campus safety. University leadership is interested in hearing any and all ideas the community can offer. These ideas will help to continue improving and addressing safety issues on campus.
President Ruth Watkins was able to break briefly from hosting the College Completion Summit and join the Academic Senate meeting. She expressed gratitude to the many student, faculty, and staff members who have given their ideas and time to enhancing campus safety. The President then offered a slide presentation thanking the members of: Resilient U Healthy Relationships Working Group; SafeU Month Planning Committee; and the Presidential Campus Safety Task Force.
Special Report: SafeU Month Presentation
The co-chairs of the SafeU Month Planning Committee, Brittany Kiyoko Badger and Phil Chaffee, began by explaining that the committee knows that raising campus safety awareness and creating a culture of safety does not end when SafeU Month–which encompasses the next five weeks–ends. The intention of SafeU Month is to create a launchpad of trainings, resources, workshops, fairs, and more that support continuing conversation, dialog, and action.
The events of the first week aim to increase general awareness of the safety resources and offices that the campus community can access for help. The other four weeks also have an emphasis: staff readiness; emotional and mental health; physical and environmental health; healthy relationships. SafeU event and training highlights were included in the presentation, as well as a look at the calendar of events for the month. When SafeU month is over, the long term commitment to creating a safe campus and culture of safety includes asking campus community members to continue to give their input, as well as act—such as share information, host events, and be a leader whenever possible to engage others. The committee wants to make sure that everyone feels included, heard, and part of the collaborative process and continuing commitment to a safe campus.
Brook Martin, UofU student, asked a jurisdiction question that is a concern to her and other students: what body is responsible for protecting students living on campus and, if there are several, couldn’t the various protection organizations collaborate? SVP Reed clarified that the University of Utah Police Department (UUPD) is responsible for responding to actions on campus. There is though coordination between the Salt Lake City police and the University police departments. Improvements since last October’s tragedy, which include added personnel hiring, have already been implemented in the areas of communication between the two departments and in UUPD response.
REPORT FROM ASUU
ASUU President Anna Barnes reported that the ASUU has been highly active, as has its legislative bodies. The ASUU recently updated an emergency plan for its offices that enhance the safety of those who work and visit there. ASUU will be represented on two hiring committees—the search for a new Chief Safety Officer and Police Chief. On October 16, 5:30 pm, there is a workshop that informs students about the difference in cultural appreciation versus appropriation, with an emphasis on Native American and the Ute cultures. During SafeU month and for the rest of the year, the ASUU has a strategic plan to capture student opinion on campus safety issues and learn what kind of advocacy students want from their ASUU representatives. A student listening session is scheduled for October 2, 2:30 pm, in the Student Union. Students are invited to share their thoughts, concerns, and recommendations for improving safety on campus.
NOTICE OF INTENT CALENDAR
There were no items for the Notice of Intent Calendar
Digital Culture Studies Certificate Proposal
David Roh, from the College of Humanities English Department, introduced a proposal for a new interdisciplinary Certificate of Completion in Digital Culture Studies. It is an initiative stewarded by the College of Humanities to bring together arts, humanities, and technology. This program proposal begins to formalize a lot of the great work in bridging these topics that colleagues are doing across campus. A number of the courses listed in the proposal already exist, so this program coheres those offerings and aims to be an organizational tool to compliment developments and careers in the field. During Q&A, Terry Ring expressed that he would have liked to have seen a more robust labor market outlook section in the proposal. Wanda Pillow encouraged collaborating also with the School for Cultural and Social Transformation because the School has expertise and courses in the area proposed. David agreed and believed that this partnership is forthcoming. A motion from Tom Richmond, seconded by Nicola Longo (proxy for Hunter Underhill), to approve this proposal passed, with 4 opposed and 5 abstentions.
INFORMATION & RECOMMENDATIONS CALENDAR
Graduate Council 7-year Review: Department of Sociology
Associate Dean of the Graduate School Katie Ullman summarized the Graduate Council 7-year review of the Department of Sociology. The department’s faculty was commended for its diversity and productivity. Also commended were the undergraduate and graduate programs, and the addition of a new popular major in Criminology. The Department is already generating plans and instituting changes to improve the organization and content of the somewhat siloed graduate program. The department faces serious facilities issues that still need to be solved and remain a priority.
Graduate Council 7-year Review: Department of Special Education
Katie presented the 7-year review of the Department of Special Education, which noted the faculty’s publishing and funding achievements. It has a significant role in training educators that are in high demand, so the Department is challenged to find ways to attract more students. A new undergraduate minor was recently added to help address that goal. Recommendations included continuing to implement faculty and student recruitment strategies and bolster its research culture and funding.
There were no items for New Business.
Senate President Julio Facelli invited Senators and visitors to make any comments they would like to present to the Academic Senate.
- UofU Student Abhi Harikumar asked for more discussion and clarification about the general idea of a SafeU culture change and the steps that this change requires. In addition, he had a question about what the student body can do in respect to this.
Vice President for Student Affairs Lori McDonald expressed sincere appreciation for the ongoing engagement of the U’s students and ASUU. One point to consider is that the campus community—staff, faculty, visitors, and students—are all involved in the slow but important process of culture change, to which there are many facets. The Student Affairs office is thoroughly engaged with improving all aspects of those. Her office depends on ASUU and student input and is actively looking for opinions and recommendations.
Anna Barnes added that it is difficult for a student to know what her/his obligation is to their peers. There will be cases where a student is not comfortable speaking with the police, counselors, or administrators. In those situations, she believes that students might think about taking on the responsibility of advocating for each other.
Leslie Francis offered to students and others in the University community the wealth of expertise available at the College of Law. Law professors like herself welcome the opportunity to help contribute to the conversation and assist community members in understanding differences between legal positions and ethical ones.
Dan Reed recapped that culture change does not happen rapidly and is never finished. University leadership continues to enhance safety in its official capacity; however, generating understanding, new ideas, and culture change involves everybody. Creating spaces where ideas, experiences, and recommendations are shared is part of this collaborative effort, and these communications will need to be ongoing in this evolving process.
- UofU student Brook Martin explained that she and three other University of Utah track teammates were attending today in a show of support for training partner and murder victim Lauren McCluskey. Her issue is that she and others experience fear and discomfort when speaking up because of possible repercussions. Students she knows do not want to seem disrespectful of the President or University staff.
Senate President Julio Facelli responded by emphasizing the critical importance of the students’ experience. Students are the reason the institution exists; their freedom of speech is highly valued, and all are welcome to come anytime to the Academic Senate to express what they feel. This is a forum where faculty, administration, and students come together to make a better university.
SVP Reed stated further that highest ideal that a university embodies is the free discussion and debate about ideas and approaches. Students should never fear expressing their perspective because the University welcomes all student input; it will not sacrifice the core principles of public higher education. It is committed to supporting students’ dreams and aspirations, and the University’s sacred trust to preserve and protect those opportunities for future generations.
Meeting adjourned at 4:09 pm.