The Faculty Senate met June 1, 2016 at the School of Dentistry on the HSC campus, with Chair Pamela Feldhoff presiding.
Minutes from the May 4, 2016 minutes were approved to start the meeting. Representatives from the Student Government Association and the Staff Senate were not present to provide reports.
Redbook: The second reading of the A&S Policy Change, which aims to clarify language, was approved. The new language specifies board-appointed administrative assignments and reads: “Faculty who have administrative appointments shall be reviewed for their administrative services as well as other faculty responsibilities. Each department shall include a process for evaluation of its chair in personnel policies.”
Harlan Sands, CFO, provided an update on the university’s change in travel partner from Pan Am to Anthony Travel, effective June 23. Athletics already works with Anthony Travel, so the transition should be smooth, Sands said. Transition guidelines will be issued in the next few weeks.
Sands also provided an update on some changes being made to parking availability around campus, some of which will be compromised by construction. Specifically, some green and blue spaces behind the Speed building will be lost permanently to make room for a planned pedestrian walkway.
“We are taking a hard look at this. Parking is a real stressful point. We’d love to have people park next to their office, but that’s just not possible with the development happening on campus,” he said. “Parking is a limited resource and we need to look at our parking schemes and how we do it.”
Parking decks are included in the master plan, but the university’s core property will be used more for things core to our mission, such as academic buildings, Sands added.
Sands was agreeable to a suggestion to work with the parking advisory committee on solutions.
Sands introduced Jim Sears, the new AVP for Facilities Management. Sears comes from Wayne State University in Detroit.
The Planning and Budget Committee discussed the Center for Instructional and Behavioral Research in Schools (CIBRS). The center was proposed by CEHD and passed by the Planning and Budget committee. Terry Scott, interim associate dean for research and graduate students in the Department of Special Education, gave a presentation on the center, stating that the $1.4 million budget will be used to research why kids fail in school. The center hopes to build a synergy between local and federal education departments for this research and formalize outreach to solve some of the problems associated with kids who aren’t succeeding. The center is working with the counseling and psychology departments and trying to build on the initial three or four initial projects focused on special education.
The proposal for the center passed.
President James Ramsey provided an update on the state budget, which includes a 2-percent cut for the current fiscal year and a 4-percent cut going forward. Dr. Ramsey said the initial proposed cut from the Governor was 9 percent and that 4 percent represents a compromise.
A performance funding model is due by December 1. Discussions on that model have started.
The initial budget put forward included:
- A 2-percent merit-based salary adjustment pool for faculty and staff.
- A Phase I commitment of $2.4 million to address faculty and staff pay equity issues in response to a recent study that showed many UofL employees are paid at or below the median salary for comparable duties at other universities.
- $100,000 to ensure UofL’s lowest-paid employees are making a living wage.
- Continued central funding for promotions and tenure of faculty and staff.
Dr. Ramsey said the university is developing more processes to position the university for future success including identification of a new budget model, and the creation of an anticipated $50 million investment fund from philanthropic efforts, new revenue and reallocation.
The Board of Trustees will meet on June 21 to go over a proposed budget.
Interim Provost Neville Pinto provided an update on initiatives from the 21st Century plan, including:
- Strengthen Gen Ed curriculum. Recommendations are under review and are focused on a reduction in credits, from 34 to 31. A formal approval is expected in the fall.
- Create excellence in engaged teaching. The Tech Innovation and Learning Laboratory (TILL) is set to open in the fall on the third floor of the Ekstrom Library. “I see this lab as a key element in preparing for a new classroom building and have charged our team to offer opportunities for training to fully utilize new technology in the building,” Provost Pinto said.
Also, a new teaching seminar series took place this year, focused on new faculty. It is expected to be annual.
- Build living and learning communities (LLC). Provost Pinto said we’ve expanded LLCs from 8 percent to 22 percent, including an expanded Honors LLC and a new A&S LLC.
- We’ve established a Career Service Council to connect student experience with their interest and career services and to do it early, “not when they’re seniors,” Provost Pinto said. We have started collecting employment data so units can better understand that information. We are focusing more on internships and have about 3,000 students in internships per year. A new position was created to help with this objective and has been filled by Stuart Esrock in A&S.
- A bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Learning with an emphasis on healthcare will be offered in the fall, in partnership with the Commonwealth College Education Consortium.
Other priorities include identifying competitive areas for future investment and enhancing the campus climate. In regards to the budget, the Provost said we are doing more than just balancing our budget because we are in a high demand area and we have to figure out what UofL offers that people want and tap into that.
“If all we did was wait to hear what the cuts would be and scramble to balance our budget, we wouldn’t be controlling our own destiny,” he said. “That’s why we’ve committed to come up with a $50 million fund. This summer we will build a business plan based on that demand. There will be priorities and reallocations and hard decisions, but we can’t be a great university with just one or two great programs.”
Provost Pinto also updated the Faculty Senate on dean’s searches for the Kent School of Social Work, the School of Dentistry (both waiting for Board of Trustees approval), the College of Business (starting over in the fall) and (on the horizon) the Brandeis School of Law, which is expected to take place next year.
Academic, Committee on Committees and Credentials: No report.
Redbook: A review of the mission statement change in the School of Music; and the School of Public Health is looking at revisions.
Part Time Faculty: Report is available online.
Planning and Budget Committee: Seeking feedback on engineering certificates.
Executive Committee: Recommendations have been made about the implementation of faculty market equity money.
HRAC Report: Consensus is going away in 2017. No alternative has been identified yet for hiring candidates. Also, a retirement readiness program will be implemented soon.
Chair’s Report: An update was given on the Board of Trustees meeting June 2, as well as the recent DoL Executive Order regarding FSLA and overtime pay for those who make less than $47,476.
A call for nominations for the next grievance officer to replace Enid Trucios-Haynes, who will be the next faculty chair in September.
The Crawford Gym demolition is scheduled to begin in September.
Finally, the ombudsman is retiring at the end of June.
The next meeting is scheduled for July 6 from 3-5 p.m. in Chao Auditorium.