Overview: Dec. 1 Faculty Senate Meeting
The Faculty Senate is part of UofL's shared governance system, which also includes the Staff Senate and Student Government Association. Senators are elected by their peers. The full body met in regular session Dec. 1 at Ekstrom Library. Chair Bob Staat presided. Here is what happened:
The Senate had the second reading of the personnel documents for the Speed School and the Kent School. The Senate's Redbook Committee had reviewed both documents and worked with each school to ensure that the changes were in line with the Redbook and that they represented faculty interests. Upon recommendation of the Redbook Committee, the Senate voted to accept the changes.
From Provost Shirley Willihnganz: The provost and/or deans have been communicating new rules and regulations for things ranging from credit card use to research issues to faculty. Some faculty are concerned that the new regulations imply a lack of trust from administration. The provost explained that the new regulations are being dictated by federal laws, industry changes and "best practices," and in no way should be seen as stemming from a lack of trust. She said she will try to provide more context in future communication about such regulatory changes.
UofL's accrediting organization, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, has decided to have a full accreditation review of UofL in 2012 — five years after its last review — rather than in 2017, as it had planned. SACS has decided that 10 years is too long between reviews and is changing its schedule for all institutions. The review will affect all faculty as UofL works to make sure it meets all of SACS' requirements.
Willihnganz urged senators to nominate an outstanding colleague for the Trustees Award. It is the highest award the Board of Trustees gives, she said, and it goes to a faculty member who has had a positive impact on students' lives. (Info)
Class evaluations are online this semester for the first time. Faculty should urge students to go online and complete their evaluations. If the switch from paper to online evaluations is successful, among other benefits, it will save the university about $100,000. (Info)
From President James Ramsey: Since Ramsey last spoke to the Senate (in October), UofL has publicly announced its fundraising campaign, Charting Our Course (info) and received board permission to sign a letter of intent for merger among UofL, University of Louisville Hospital/James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare, Catholic Health Initiatives and its Kentucky-based operation, Saint Joseph Health System. The merger still has many details to work through, Ramsey said, but it is a real financial agreement among the would-be partners. He said the group hopes to have its paperwork together by May 15. He does not know how long it would take the state and federal governments to approve it after that. The merger "will help us grow our clinical, education and research programs," he said. (Info)
Ramsey also showed a PowerPoint presentation that included a slide showing the areas in which UofL is ranked first among Council on Postsecondary Education measures and thanked faculty for making UofL #1 in those areas. (Info)
Special guest Mark Hebert: University spokesman Mark Hebert gave an invited talk on what faculty should do if the media contacts them. Faculty will be contacted for two reasons, he said: 1. To comment on something related to their areas of expertise. 2. To give their personal views on something happening at or related to UofL. Faculty should feel free to talk to media in those cases, if they want to. If they do not, they should feel free to decline to speak. According to UofL policy, only Hebert or someone so designated in the Office of Communications and Marketing can speak on behalf of the university. Hebert asked that faculty call him if they talk to media because he daily tracks media contacts to keep administration informed of the potential for news coverage. If faculty have questions, they can reach him at 852-3133. Health Sciences faculty can call Gary Mans in the HSC Office of Communications and Marketing at 852-7504.
Sen. Melissa Laning, University Libraries, asked Senate members to remind their colleagues that they are invited to review and comment on a proposed revision to The Redbook Chapter 4.4 on Resolution of Faculty Disputes (a.k.a. grievance). Comment deadline is Dec. 24. A summary of the proposed changes and the proposed language replacing the current Redbook 4.4 are at: https://sharepoint.louisville.edu/sites/facultysenate/Documents/Redbook%20Changes%20Summary%20r1.pdf ; https://sharepoint.louisville.edu/sites/facultysenate/Documents/fs%20redbook%20revision%20Nov%2019.pdf ; https://sharepoint.louisville.edu/sites/facultysenate/Documents/fs%20redbook%20revision%20Appendix%20A%20Nov%2019.pdf . Comment to: firstname.lastname@example.org.