Faculty Senate

Information for the Faculty of the University of Louisville.




University of Louisville

Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

March 5, 2014


The regular meeting of the Faculty Senate was held on March 5, 2014 at 3:00 P.M. in the Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library, Belknap Campus, Joseph Steffen presiding.


Senators Registering Attendance:

A&S: Annette Allen, David Brown, Carrie Donald, Jasmine Farrier, John McLeod, David Simpson, Joseph Steffen, Elaine Wise, Tamara Yohannes CoB: Robert Barker, Ben Foster, Bruce Kemelgor, Robert Myers  Dentistry: Ricardo Caicedo, Robert Staat Education: Patrick Hardesty, Robert Pennington, Tom Simmons Kent: Seana Golder, Martin Hall, Wanda Lott Collins Law: Kurt Metzmeier, Enid Trucios-HaynesLibraries: Gail Gilbert, Terri Holtze, Margo Smith Medicine: Yousef Abu-Kwaik, Richard Downs, Pamela Feldhoff, Saeed Jortani, David Stirling Music: Ansyn Banks, Dror Biran, Krista Wallace-Boaz Nursing: Diane Chlebowy, Karen Singleton Part-time Faculty: Donna Gaus, Joseph Gutmann, Susan Peacock, John Ritz  Public Health: Ray Austin, Scott LaJoie Speed: J.P. Mohsen, Kevin Walsh

Also Attending:

Ex Officio:            James Ramsey, Shirley Willihnganz, Tracy Eells, Ginger Brown, Grant Ford,

Others:                 Dale Billingsley, Beth Boehm, Paul DeMarco, Melissa Laning, Neal Nixon, Bob Stenger (ULARP), Gretchen Henry, recording secretary



Senators Not Registering Attendance:

A&S: Beth WilleyDentistry: Donald Demuth, David Willis Education: Daya Sandhu Law: Luke Milligan Medicine: Forest Arnold, Ted Feldmann, Sham Kakar, Brad Keller, Nobuyuki Kuwabara, Steven Myers Nursing: Valerie McCarthy  Part-time Faculty: Rose Mills, Michael Wade  Speed: Bruce Alphenaar, Roger Bradshaw



CALL TO ORDER: – Steffen

ACTION ITEM: The meeting minutes from February 5, 2014 were approved unanimously.


REPORT: Student Government Association – Grant Ford

Grant reported that there will not be a Rally for Higher Education this year, due to a scheduling conflict between all the schools; the SGA has partnered with the Louisville Housing Coalition to provide free tax return preparations for students; the proposed $7/semester library fee was approved by the Tuition and Fee-setting Committee and will most likely be implemented next fall semester.

REPORT: Staff Senate – Ginger Brown

The Staff Senate met on February 10th. An election was held to fill the Secretary/Treasurer vacancy. Martyna Warren was elected.  Dana Mayton made a presentation on the legislative process her office goes through. VPHR Sam Connally reported that the $10/hour living wage was approved and will gradually increase over the next 4 years to $11/hour.  He also explained the Adverse Weather Policy.  The PED Committee is working on a recommendation for the COLA and merit salary increases. The next Staff Senate meeting is this Monday, March 10th.


INFORMATION ITEM: University Faculty Grievance Chairs – Laning/Nixon

In 2011, the Board of Trustees approved REDBOOK 4.4, regarding faculty disputes. From 2008 – 2011, an ad hoc committee of the faculty senate studied the existing process and how it might be improved.  In 2012, a new process was developed, and remains the current practice.  The key changes were listed on a hand out. Most of the activity since the change has to do with Type I –more of a personal nature, focusing on informal resolution and requires meeting with the Ombudsman. Type II grievances are those that deal with tenure and termination issues. Only 4 grievances have been filed since the new process was introduced. Some general observations from the co-chairs was, that having 2 co-chairs makes it easier to keep to the timetable, so if one cannot do it the other can. Reducing the number of committee members required to hear a grievance has been reduced, making it easier to get a group of people together. Term faculty are now included in the process.  (The report is attached below.)



REPORT: President’s Report - Dr. James Ramsey

President Ramsey reported that he met with the State Speaker of the House, Greg Stumbo and there didn’t seem to be much hope, in this budget, for restoring the $23M in cuts to higher education. Three gaming bills have been filed and the income generated from that would help alleviate many of the state’s financial woes. Since this is an election year, with the Democrats holding a thin lead, political motivation may influence budget decisions.  The Board of Trustees meets tomorrow. Before each meeting, there is a workshop held to educate them on various areas in the academic world: financial aid, scholarships, economic development, and so on. Most of the Board members are new and not familiar with what it takes to run and grow a premier metropolitan research university. Reporting on the University’s budget, Scenario C, Dr. Ramsey said that the downtown TIF is beginning to payoff and will generate over $3M, in the next biennium. At the end of April, the CPE will announce the tuition limits for the next fiscal year.  This will give an idea of what funds will be realized from the tuition increase. Asked about the income from KY One, President Ramsey said that in November, he was told that the money would be paid per the contract – over 3-5 years. He has requested a meeting to discuss this issue with CHI’s president.  They are not working with us and it is very frustrating.  Some clinical employees have not been paid for services rendered, since December. Dr. Ramsey asked to be kept informed on this issue. Reporting on the Norton’s situation, he said that the judge has ordered mediation and that he will keep the Senate informed on the progress.


REPORT: Provost’s Report - Dr. Shirley Willihnganz

Provost Willihnganz started by thanking the Faculty Grievance Officer, the Grievance Committee and Ombudsman Tony Belak, for all the hard work they’ve done for faculty grievances, especially, Melissa Laning. Reporting on administrative searches, Provost Willihnganz said: the 2 candidates for the Education position are being interviewed by both the president and provost; one more candidate for the A&S dean is to be interviewed; and, applications are still being accepted for the Law School dean.  She thanked senators for attending the 21st Century Round Tables. On April 11th, she will meet with deans for more Round Tables. On the budget, Susan Howarth has met with all constituency groups.  Susan is trying a new idea of developing a matrix of various scenarios of ‘what ifs’, to take a look at different possibilities within the current budget.  Everything about the budget is a struggle - tuition is too high and cuts are too high.


REPORT: Standing Committee Reports

Academic Programs Committee (APC) – Smith – The proposal for consideration today is for a PhD in Neuroscience. Senator Smith gave a brief background and course description. The committee felt is was a well-written and prepared proposal. A proposal for an Interdisciplinary PhD was passed by the Senate in 2008. This is a track under that program. Asked about funding for library resources, the proposers said that there were not funds allocated for the entire library request. SIGS Dean Boehm pointed out that the faculty in this program area are already doing research in their home units and these students will have access to journals from those units. The journals are already available to the faculty and no new journals are needed.  A brief discussion of journals, bundling of journals and possible loss of more library resources took place. As this PhD program was approved in 2088, it comes to the senate as an information item.  This track will be called PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies with a track in Translational Neuroscience. It has been reviewed by every unit with interested faculty.

The vote to endorse this track passed, with 2 negative votes.

Committee on Committees and Credentials (CCC) – This committee did not meet. Reminder: Elections will be held at the May meeting.

Part-time Faculty Committee (PTFC)-This report was online. The committee met with Bob Goldstein to discuss conducting a PTF salary review. 

Planning & Budget Committee (P&B)- This committee met and reviewed the SIGS PhD proposal and the Center for Optimal Aging. The second review of the Center for optimal Aging will take place in April.

Redbook & Bylaws Committee (RB) –The amendment to The REDBOOK 4.4.2 regarding ‘engaged teaching’ are being discussed today. Associate Provost Dale Billingsley is in attendance to answer any questions. Asked what the rationale for the change, Dr. Billingsley replied that a number of younger faculty, who do engaged research and are not rewarded for it. This will help them get recognized for work beyond service. It will also help our application to the Carnegie Foundation for the designation of an Engaged University. It will not be required, but it will be an elective to be included in a work plan. The intent is to recognize work apart from service, and is not a requirement. This will allow units to recognize additional criteria. The changes will go back to The REDBOOK Committee for wordsmithing.

Executive Committee (XC)- This report was available online.



Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) – Elaine Wise – This report was available online.

Human Resources Advisory Committee (HRAC) – Pamela Feldhoff – There some issues with the Part-time faculty and their access to Blackboard. VPHR Connally is investigating and will advise UBMs.


REPORT: Faculty Senate Chair – Steffen

The Board of Trustees meets tomorrow.  A new administrative position is being developed to fill the spaces left when Mike Curtin and Larry Owsley retired, and to reduce the number of people reporting to Provost Willihnganz. The new job description has been approved by the Board of Trustees, and a search committee is underway. Another position is being developed to oversee all the University’s legal work. The executive committee saw Budget Scenario C. It’s a very difficult situation and hard to say how it will work out. We are required by law, to have a balanced budget.


New Business


Old Business



Senator Mohsen, is the chair of the Faculty Concerns Committee of CODRE. CODRE is sponsoring a research grant for undergraduate and graduate students of up to $1000. He encouraged senators to nominate a student. Deadline is April 9, 2014. Here is the link to the application.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 P.M.





Respectfully submitted,

Gretchen Stein Henry

Faculty Senate Secretary




University Faculty Grievance Committee

Report to the Faculty Senate

March 5, 2014


Brief History

  • October 2011 – The Board of Trustees approved Redbook revisions to Article 4.4 – Resolution of Faculty Disputes.
  • January 2012 – President Ramsey appointed Melissa Laning and Neal Nixon as Co-Chairs of the Faculty Grievance Committee (FGC).
  • March 2012 – The Co-chairs seated the 35-member committee and ran elections for 5 term faculty members.
  • April 2012 – Held a 2-part orientation program for the new committee members.
  • May 2012 – Received first grievance under the new dispute resolution policy.


Key Changes

  • Creation of two different types of disputes which are handled through a different set of procedures.
  • Faculty are required to seek informal resolution by consulting the Ombuds.
  • Jurisdiction Panels decide whether or not a complaint should receive a hearing.
  • Hearings are run by committee members and attorneys do not participate in the proceedings.
  • Hearing Panel members create a grievance resolution plan which suggests needed changes from all parties.
  • There are lots of timetables!
  • Increased size of the FGC, but smaller panels for jurisdiction (5 members) and hearings (3 members). 
  • Panels include at least one person from the grievant’s unit.
  • Allows respondents and witnesses to supply written statements and/or participate electronically. 
  • The Faculty Grievance Officer, the Ombuds and the Co-chairs are considered the administrators of the Grievance Process.
  • As Co-chairs, our job is to make sure the process keeps moving. 


Activity Since Appointment

  • Have received four grievances from three different units, CEHD, Public Health and A&S.  The two from one unit were filed by the same person.
  • All have been Type 1.
  • One was from a term faculty member.
  • Three ended with the faculty member leaving the university before a hearing was conducted.
  • One is active.
  • One was delayed for almost a year while the grievant was on a BOT-approved leave.
  • We have convened four Jurisdiction Panels and two hearing panels, and have had great success with committee members responding to our requests to serve.


General Observations

  • Having Co-chairs turns out to be a good idea in terms of keeping the process moving.
  • Committee members and parties to the grievance have been very responsive to our meeting and information requests. 
  • We have shifted committee orientation from a generic annual event to more focused instructions and support to panels but we are still refining how to manage the committee members’ information needs. 
  • In three of the four grievances that have come to us, the respondents have been unwilling to participate in the informal dispute resolution approach recommended by the Ombuds.
  • For term faculty, the Office of the Ombuds offers more opportunities for dispute resolution than the formal grievance process.
  • The current Redbook language does not address legitimate alterations to the timelines, such as Board-appointed leaves or agreement to return to informal resolution.  
  • Informal communication with the Ombuds and the FGO has been a positive part of the process. 


Future Plans

  • Develop a list of recommended Redbook changes.
  • Create a manual for future chairs containing letter templates, checklists and timetables for handling complaints, instructions for panels, etc.
  • Make annual reports to the Faculty Senate.



Respectfully submitted,

Melissa Laning & Neal Nixon

Co-chairs, Faculty Grievance Committee