The Minerva in the spring
In focus image of spring flowers in front of the Minerva

Faculty Senate met virtually on March 3 via Microsoft Teams. Senators were introduced to the new executive vice president and university provost, Lori Gonzalez, and received information on student enrollment, the Canon printer policy and the updated intimate relationships policy.

Beth Boehm, outgoing executive vice president and university provost, provided senators with updates on COVID-19 vaccine availability. On the afternoon of March 2, invitations for the COVID-19 vaccination were sent via email to all faculty, staff and students between the ages of 60 and 69. Boehm encouraged those who fall within this age range and did not receive the email from Student Health Services to contact Phillip Bressoud, executive director of Campus Health Services.

Boehm introduced her successor to the executive vice president and university provost position, Lori Stewart Gonzalez. Boehm was thanked for her years of service by Faculty Senate Chair David Schultz and other members of the Faculty Senate. Gonzalez, a Kentucky native, will assume the role on April 1.

Boehm stated, “I just wanted to thank you all for welcoming me back to the senate these past three years. It’s been an honor to serve in the role of the provost and to work with all of you.”

Senators received information on student enrollment by Vice Provost of Enrollment Management and Student Success Jim Begany. Begany reported a peak in enrollment during the fall 2020 semester with over 23,000 students. While public 4-year universities nationwide saw an average 10.5% decrease in enrollment during the fall 2020 semester, UofL reported a 2.7% increase in student enrollment. The university also saw an increase in the 6-year graduation rate, which is the common measure among institutions. The current 6-year graduation rate is at 60.4%, an improvement from the 52.9% rate reported in 2015.

When addressing the current 6-year graduation rate, Begany stated, “this is what I’m most proud of. This is a university-wide effort. It’s our faculty working with students in the classroom, our advisors, our student affairs, our entire university. When we see numbers that are improving, it’s reflective of all the work that we’re all doing to get our students to graduate.”

Updates about the Canon printer policies were provided by Chief Procurement Officer Sally Molsberger.  

Under the updated Canon printer policy, existing single function and desktop printers can continue to be used until they are non-functioning, at which time they may not be repaired or replaced. Toner and ink for existing single function and desktop printers will not be provided through Canon and should be ordered through the contracted office supply vendor, Staples. All paper purchases should go through the university Stockroom. The policy further states that university funds cannot be used to pay for desktop printers or personal printing. Those with questions or concerns about the updated printing policy were encouraged to contact either Sally Molsberger or Lisa Ennis with Procurement Services.

Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs Tracy Eells provided the current draft of the intimate relationships policy. In December 2019, Boehm charged a committee to review and make necessary changes to the policy on intimate relationships between students and members of faculty and staff. The policy will apply to all university employees.

Four types of intimate relationships will be prohibited under the policy:

  • An instructor, staff or administrator and an undergraduate student
  • An instructor, staff or administrator and a graduate or professional student, when the instructor, staff or administrator has a current or expected supervisory or instructional role with the student or when the instructor, staff or administrator and student are in the same academic school, college, program or department
  • A graduate or professional student and an undergraduate, graduate, or professional student when there is a supervisory or instructional role
  • A supervisor and the supervisor’s direct report.

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