Dr. Greg Postel, UofL's interim president
Dr. Greg Postel, UofL's interim president

UofL’s Faculty Senate met last week and received an update from President Postel about the campus climate and budget surveys that were recently issued.

The campus climate survey received about 1,900 responses, while the budget survey received about 1,7000 responses, both of which he called “statistically significant response rates.”

“For the campus climate survey, what’s important is that we correct some of the problems we initially discovered in the 2014 survey. We will have forums to drill down the biggest, most persistent concerns,” he said. “For the budget survey, we will also hold two forums to figure out where we go from here.”

The budget forums are planned for Feb. 22 at noon on the Belknap Campus, and Feb. 26 on the HSC Campus. More information will be shared in UofL Today.

Postel concluded by mentioning that the NCAA has not yet reached out to UofL with its punishment about the prostitution scandal.

“We want to get this over with. We have no desire to prolong these issues. We have to be fair and protect our interests, but prolonging this issue is a no-win. We’re hoping to get closure as fast as we can,” he said.

Postel took a few questions from the senators, including UofL’s “new budget model.”

“What we’re trying to do is set revenue targets for each unit and have a budget where if you don’t meet those targets, there will be withholds,” he said. This approach was both recommended by a consultant and is in keeping with the CPE’s new performance-based funding model.

Other business

The meeting opening up the meeting with an in memoriam statement for Dr. Ruth Huber. Huber passed away on Jan. 23.

She was a professor emeritus in the Kent School of Social Work and was the inaugural director of Kent’s doctoral program. Huber, who was also active in the community, was named the Trustee Award winner in 2002.

The Student Government Association submitted a letter to faculty advocating for midterm academic evaluations. Studies have shown that this type of communication helps with retention rates. The SGA’s full letter is available online

Staff Senate did not meet in January, but reported concerns about the ongoing budget issues and employee morale.

Chair Enid Trucios-Haynes provided the chair’s report, which included a summation of the listening tour meetings that provided Board of Trustee members with a better understanding of the opportunities at UofL. Two additional faculty representatives for the presidential search process have been added – Krista Wallace-Boaz and Diane Chlebowy.

The presidential nomination period closes Feb. 15. Trucios-Haynes said there are 55 to 60 candidates expected by that date. All candidates will be reviewed and the pool of applicants will be whittled down to “10 or so” who will continue through the process.

Two budget forums are planned for this month, including one on Feb. 22 at noon on the Belknap Campus, and the other on Feb. 26 on the HSC Campus. More information will be available soon.

Her full report is online

Trucios-Haynes invited a deeper discussion about the budget survey, as well as the presidential forum pillars presented earlier in the fall semester. Senators suggested more details about the “aggressive cultural assessment” goal and redefining “overview of recruitment policies” to “enhancement of recruitment policies” or something similar. Also, they noted there is nothing referencing service in the community engagement pillar, and the “advocacy in health care” description is too vague.

Finally, one senator noted that the pillars are presented as being equal and he believes “educational excellence” should hold more weight than the others since it’s the “primary purpose” of our institution.

Provost Dale Billingsley

Provost Dale Billingsley discussed the objectives of the enrollment growth steering committee. Discussion of the university’s enrollment growth has used 30,000 students as a placeholder for a more considered goal throughout the next five years. This number is based on the typical enrollment of a public research 1 university.

The provost’s office plans to organize this committee to address four questions in detail:

  • What is the university’s optimum size?
  • What distribution of enrollments will the university support?
  • How will the university provide for the students’ educational experience and support?
  • Assuming that the new plan aims to provide ongoing long-term support, what resources will fund immediate development?

Billingley’s full report is available online

The next Faculty Senate meeting is March 7 at 3 p.m. in Chao Auditorium.



Alicia Kelso
Alicia Kelso is the director of social media and digital content. She joined UofL in 2015 as director of communications at the Brandeis School of Law. She also serves as a senior contributor at Forbes.com, writing about the restaurant industry, which she has covered since 2010. Her work has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Bloomberg, The Seattle Times, Good Morning America and Franchise Asia Magazine.