UofL’s Faculty Senate convened last Wednesday on the HSC Campus, opening the meeting with a memorium statement for Dr. Susan Peacock, an instructor with the College of Education and Human Development, who passed away on Aug. 2. It was noted that Peacock was a repeated faculty favorite and held a number of leadership roles, including on the part-time faculty committee.
Senate committee elections were held, and an action item was approved to add a graduate certificate in biostatistics. All courses already exist as part of the master’s program, so no additional resources are needed to launch the certificate program.
Chair Enid Trucios-Haynes presented highlights from the chair’s report, which is available online in its entirety.
She noted her efforts urging board of trustees’ chair David Grissom to advise the campus community about the planned framework for the presidential search process, which he has reported will be a closed search throughout the process. The BOT has received numerous responses to his proposal, including from faculty, chairs, deans and the AAUP.
The Faculty Senate Executive Committee also responded and, after a lengthy discussion, it was motioned and approved that the senate endorse the XC’s letter, which reads:
Dear Members of the Board of Trustees,
The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate is thoroughly opposed to the decision of the Board of Trustees to conduct a closed Presidential search. We feel that severely limiting the input from faculty and other constituents will damage the efforts to cultivate greater transparency, undermine the importance of shared governance, and negatively impact the future working relationship and trust between the faculty and senior leadership.
We believe that more input from constituents, particularly faculty, will assist the search committee throughout the process by providing important institutional history, and thus result in a better outcome. This more inclusive representation would also help restore the confidence of the University’s donors. We urge the Board to reevaluate the search process, and open the search once finalists are selected, allowing faculty, staff and students to interact on campus with each of the finalists. We also strongly recommend that the search committee be expanded to include a broader representation of campus and community constituents, along with a robust engagement of the Redbook mandated faculty consultation committee.
Collaboration is essential to restoring the morale of the faculty, and greater collaboration will serve to unify the administration, students, staff and faculty so that we, the community of the University of Louisville, can focus on moving forward with our values, goals and initiatives.
The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate & The Faculty Senate
Todd Mooradian, dean of the College of Business, was introduced to the Senate. He has been in the post for a little less than a year and provided some of his background, including his proximity to higher education throughout his entire life, growing up near the campus of the University of New Hampshire.
Mooradian outlined three of his priorities in the decanal role, including promotion of a culture of inclusiveness, innovation and efficiency.
“I want to the school to embrace and celebrate each individual and invest in their success wholeheartedly. We’re also spending a lot of time thinking about value propositions so the community embraces us more,” he said. “We’re working hard to engage the community and finding ways to contribute to Louisville, Kentucky and the world. I am so pleased to be a part of an institution that gives students a public service opportunity.”
Report: Interim president Dr. Greg Postel provided an update on a variety of issues, including SACS. Last week, SACS sent six visitors to campus to gauge UofL’s progress in addressing the organization’s concerns that initiated probationary accreditation status last year. Specifically, SACS representatives were looking at 10 issues and UofL was cleared on eight of them.
The two that remain a concern have to do with the university’s affiliated entities and the qualification of administrators.
Postel said a memorandum of understanding is being created to define UofL’s relationship with the UofL Real Estate Foundation. He added that many searches are underway for administrative positions and he hopes to name a few permanent positions soon to help with the second concern.
More information about the SACS visit is available here.
Postel noted that September marked UofL’s biggest research month in the history of the institution, led by Dr. Roberto Bolli’s $13.8 million grant from NIH to study a promising new heart failure treatment.
He pivoted to donor activity, which he described as “good, surprising,” and noted that the Advancement Office is working on enhancing stewardship efforts and programmatic support.
Postel provided an update on UofL Hospital, describing it as “busy, busy, busy.”
“The hospital is full. It hired 108 nurses in two months. Prior to July, it couldn’t hire a nurse to save itself, so that just shows the kind of work UMC is doing,” he said.
Postel discussed the budget, noting that 2016-17 is done and favorable. It will be available next week. The 2017-18 budget, meanwhile, is balanced, including the $48 million deficit.
“We’re right on target in every category,” he said. “I’m obsessed with finding new revenue streams. My biggest worry right now is how much education could be a victim to a decrease in state appropriations. It’s not a matter of ‘if,’ it’s a matter of ‘how much.’ But it’s reason for us to get motivated to find ways to stand on our own,” Postel said. “This is why we’re focusing on priority setting and hosting open forums to get faculty and staff to help us understand our priorities.”
Finally, Postel touched on the athletics scandals taking place, nothing the NCAA appeal for the prostitution scandal is in process and expected in mid-December. He said he is not optimistic because of the more recent FBI allegations against the men’s basketball team.
“The real issue here is reputational. To see another hit is painful,” he said. “There is nothing good about this (FBI) story. We are working very hard to stay current about the information as it comes in. The university is not a target in this, we are viewed as a victim. But that means we will have financial and reputational exposure again.”
Postel said he received about 3,000 emails last week about this scandal via email.
“It’s important to note that none of the decisions being made are personal. They’re all being made to protect the university,” he said.
Report: Interim Provost Dr. Dale Billingsley provided a brief update that will be available online soon. He mentioned the diversity plan is now available online and individual units will be required to work on their own plans soon. He also noted that there have been requests for more support for tuition revenue sharing plans for new programs and his office is working on getting a single template launched to tuition revenue sharing plans are transparent.
Report: Brian Bigelow, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, introduced himself to the Faculty Senate, having been in his position for the past 15 months. He provided an overview of what the university’s responsibilities are in response to last month’s changes to Title IX, introduced by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
“There are new regulations, but we don’t know what they say yet and we don’t know how long it will take for them to go into effect,” he said. “In the meantime, it doesn’t affect UofL specifically. We’re in a holding pattern, but we’re alert to changes coming down the pike.”
Other reports are available online:
- Academic Programs
- Redbook and Bylaws
- Excecutive Committee
- Faculty Athletic Representative
- Presidential Search Faculty Consultation Committee
- UofL Chapter of AAUP
- Commission on Status of Women
The next Faculty Senate meeting is Nov. 1, 3-5 p.m. in Ekstrom Library’s Chao Auditorium.