Grawemeyer Hall
Grawemeyer Hall

Joseph Han was introduced to the Faculty Senate during its monthly meeting March 7. The new COO started March 1.

He said the operations unit is working on a 5-year plan that includes making data-based decisions, improving communication within units and getting staff involved in decisions.

“I am thrilled to be here and I am excited about the direction we’re headed in,” Han said.

Also during the meeting, SGA’s newly-elected president Jonathan Fuller gave the group’s report, which includes a resolution to establish course fee evaluations. Fuller asked faculty senators for input on where this information should go (for example, at the end of a course evaluation). The resolution objective is to make clear to all students enrolled in a course with associated fees what the intended use of those fees is. The full resolution is available online

Faculty Senate Chair Enid Trucios-Haynes provided her report, which included an update on several board meetings and subcommittee meetings since February. She said 53 candidates have applied for the presidential position, calling it a “good pool of candidates.” That number has since been whittled down to about 10. The presidential decision is expected in April or May. Her full report is available online

Trucios-Haynes opened the floor for discussion on recently-held budget forums, survey results and other university priorities. Concerns were raised about the process behind dropping low-enrollment programs and which metrics are used to determine their fate.

“We shouldn’t be cutting any programs if our goal is to grow enrollment by 40 percent,” one senator said.

Another expressed concern about how to scale for such ambitious growth, including digital and physical infrastructure, support staff and services.

Interim Provost Dale Billingsley provided an update on the state budget process, noting that UofL will not know if any cuts are on the table until mid-April.

“The House passed a budget proposal that removed most of the governor’s cuts to university budgets; while this more generous budget is likely to be tightened up in the Senate, the university’s advocacy work, led by assistant vice president Shannon Rickett, seems to be having good effects,” he said.

Billingsley also reported that about 500 employees and students participated in President Postel’s budget forums in February, noting that while there was good discussion, none of the ideas proposed have been unexplored already.

UofL is reconsidering tuition sharing plans and whether they’re beneficial. Billingsley also discussed the university’s enrollment growth goals, which will become more clear when the revenue targets are further along by the end of April.

“Enrollment growth is many different things. The cheapest is retention, so we’re focusing very heavily on retention efforts,” he said. “Part of the reason for growth is not just to get money, but to improve the programs we have and to provide our students with the education and experience they need to become productive citizens.”

Billingsley also noted that, at 2018 tuition rates, discounting fees of any sort and thinking only of resident undergraduate tuition, an increase of 5,000 full-time undergraduates will yield almost $28 million dollars in gross tuition revenue per term.

Other general interest items from Billingsley’s report include:

  • Cardinal Core, the program that replaces the General Education Requirements of 2002, has been accepted by the undergraduate faculties and will be promulgated for all undergraduate students in the undergraduate catalog to be issued in May. The Cardinal Core makes some significant but not radical changes in the current program, especially in the areas of quantitative reasoning, historical understanding and diversity.
  • CPE has proposed a new academic program review policy with more CPE control over curriculum and program administration.
  • Campus Climate Survey action plans should be released later this month.
  • Dean search updates: The Speed School search committee hosted four campus visits, which concluded at the end of January. The committee submitted unranked recommendations. The Nursing School search committee selected five finalists for on-campus interviews. The SIGS decanal review is underway and expects to complete its work in May. The Music decanal review and SPHIS decanal review are getting underway with the election/appointment of members as required by the REDBOOK. Medicine decanal five-year review will begin in July.
  • For other searches: With the resignation of Bryan Robinson, President Postel is overseeing advancement activities until a consultant can be retained. VP Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance: Rhonda Bishop, Vice President for Enterprise Risk Management, Audit and Compliance, starts April 16. VP Finance and CFO: Preparations for a renewed search have begun. University Ombuds: Dr. Bob Staat has agreed to take up this assignment (again) until June 30.
  • The SACS reaffirmation team will visit the university March 26-29 for onsite review of the focused report issues and the QEP proposal.

Billingsley’s full report is available online

Committee reports, including academic programs, part-time faculty, ULAA and the president search faculty consultation committee, are also available online

The next Faculty Senate meeting is April 4 from 3-5 p.m. in Chao Auditorium.