Students walking on campus
Students walking on campus

During a June 2 meeting, UofL Faculty Senate members received information on student enrollment, tenure and promotions, record-setting developments in research and innovation and three proposed program closures.

Jim Begany, vice provost for enrollment management and student success, presented updated enrollment figures. As of June 1, overall enrollment was down by 636 students. Begany reported a 710 decrease in undergraduate enrollment, a decrease of 17 in professional enrollment, as well as an increase of 91 for graduate enrollment. No change was reported for the total of incoming freshmen students.

In order to address these declines, the Enrollment Lightning Response Team was formed to assist with student registration. The ELRT is currently reaching out to non-registered students through multiple channels, including email and one-on-one meetings. In addition to the efforts made by members of the ELRT, faculty were encouraged to reach out to non-returning students.

“We have lists of these (non-registered) students that we can break down by major. A student’s connection with faculty is extremely important, and we encourage faculty to reach out to these students,” Begany said. 

Executive Vice President and University Provost Lori Gonzalez reported that email notices were sent to faculty members concerning tenure and promotions. Gonzalez informed senators of plans to compile past tenure and promotion decisions in order to provide interested faculty members with transparent and useful data. Past decisions will be organized by college and the names of the faculty members will be omitted.

“My approach to tenure and promotion is that there should be no secrets for anyone. You should know at every step what is happening,” Gonzalez stated.  

Gonzalez also announced two recent staff appointments in the Office of the Executive Vice President and University Provost. Douglas Craddock Jr. from the College of Education and Human Development will serve as chief of staff, and Sarah Lopez from the Office of Communication and Marketing will serve as deputy chief of staff. Gonzalez stated that the appointment of Craddock and Lopez will increase the responsiveness of the Office of the Provost.

Executive Vice President of Research & Innovation Kevin Gardner informed senators that new awards for fiscal year 2021 are at an all-time high. Gardner reported 60 research disclosures to date and an all-time high in sponsored research agreements.

“Through March, our awards are higher than they were all of last year. Between the record levels of awards and an anticipated increase in endowment spending, that should see us in good stead for our research expenditures, which is how we get measured as a research university,” Gardner said.

Senators were presented with three proposed program closures by the Academic Programs Committee. The programs included a bachelor of science in atmospheric sciences through the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as a master of education in instructional technology and a master of education in literacy education both through the College of Education and Human Development. All three proposed program closures received unanimous approval by the Faculty Senate.  

Committee reports and a video recording of the virtual meeting can be accessed on the Faculty Senate meetings webpage. The next Faculty Senate meeting is scheduled for July 7 via Microsoft Teams.