The Faculty Senate met Nov. 6 in Chao Auditorium, where President Neeli Bendapudi provided an update on a number of issues, including the KentuckyOne Health acquisition, which became official Nov. 1.

Prior to her presentation, however, three academic programs committee proposals were approved by the body:

  1. Certificate in LGBTQ Health Studies, which would be housed in the College of Arts & Sciences. The program provides undergraduates with certification in knowledge about the unique healthcare needs of LGBTQ populations. An advantage of this program is it would use many resources that are already in place at UofL. It would also be the first undergraduate program of this kind in the country.
  2. Certificate in Organizational Change in Higher Education, which would be housed in CEHD and aimed at preparing postsecondary instructors and faculty members for professional practice related to understanding and managing organizational change within their institutions and units.
  3. The final approval went to a new Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Management major, chaired by Dr. Carl Maertz, with an intended date of implementation in fall 2020. The major provides targeted courses in management, requiring functional knowledge of business disciplines and an internship experience in management.

President Neeli Bendapudi said the acquisition of the KentuckyOne Health Louisville assets is complete. UofL is trying to respect the legacy of these facilities by keeping part of their names; for example, UofL Health – Peace Hospital, and UofL Health – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital. More information about the new names is available online.

“We are trying to be sensitive to the communities we serve,” she said. “We feel good about turning things around.”

Bendapudi noted that Jewish Hospital was losing about $50 million a year. UofL will receive $33 million a year in funding just for being an academic health institution. UofL is also depending on a $50 million loan from the state to help kick the turnaround plan in place.

“The loan is critical to the success of this turnaround. It will provide long-term stability and continued service,” she said.

Bendapudi added that the risks of not acquiring this system would have been significant. Jewish Hospital, for example, gets about 3,000 emergency visits per month.

“There is nowhere else in the city or state that can accommodate those patients,” she said. “Where would they go?”

Further, UofL’s renowned transplant program would have to close, about 1,900 jobs would be lost equating to about $100 million annually in wages, 60 residents would have to be relocated and more.

“We would have lost faculty and our R1 research status would have been jeopardized,” Bendapudi said. “This adds the best stability for not only our academic and research mission, but more importantly for patient care.”

Several hundred employees participated in the inaugural Cards Come Together event held during Homecoming Week in October. Bendapudi said she hopes this becomes an annual event.

Raise Some L, also held during Homecoming Week, raised a record amount of money – more than $900,000. This compares to the about-$300,000 raised last year.

“This shows a sense of pride about the university and that our support is increasing and that much is a good sign,” Bendapudi said.

Finally, Bendapudi said the Strategic Plan is in the implementation phase. There are three committees each under the Learn, Work and Invest focus areas, and two additional committees tasked with identifying our thematic charges (e.g. aging) and how to best implement our CARDINAL principles.

Provost Beth Boehm also provided a report, noting that we’re struggling with enrollment – a general theme across the country due to changing demographics and less students. This year, for example, we are down by 122 students, which translates to about $1.9 million. One of our priorities is to make sure we aren’t affected by the December to January melt, when some students drop out. Boehm called on faculty to engage with students as much as they can.

“We make a big difference in a student’s experience here,” she said.

Boehm has also charged an advising committee to develop a more coordinated advising system between schools.

“We want every student to have a consistent experience,” she said.

Mary Elizabeth Miles, interim associate VP for HR, was introduced to the body and provided an overview of some of the work that has been done since she assumed that role earlier this year. She said HR plans to administer a comprehensive study of the staff, including roles and salaries, to get a better sense of how UofL lines up with other institutions. She is also focused on increasing communication from HR and has added HR Talks sessions on campus. The sessions will continue to be advertised in UofL Today.

Other reports

The Student Government Association reported that 471 Metropolitan College students took advantage of the priority registration window. SGA will keep an eye on the impacts this initiative has on retention.  

The Staff Senate report from October is available online here.

Elaine Wise, the Faculty Athletics Representative, reported that UofL’s student-athletes generated a Graduation Success Rate of 91%.

Krista Wallace-Boaz provided the chair’s report, noting that the new committee on student wellbeing has held its first meeting. The committee includes four subcommittees: wellbeing and resilience; suicide prevention; faculty roles; and tool kits for faculty, staff and students.

Also, Sandy Russell has been appointed as interim vice president for Enterprise Risk Management, Audit and Compliance, and the top four candidates for the EVPRI position have been identified and are currently scheduled for on-campus forums.

More reports are available online. The next Faculty Senate meeting is Dec. 4 in Chao Auditorium.