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Faculty Senate February meeting overview

by UofL Today last modified Feb 03, 2012 02:59 PM

The Faculty Senate is part of UofL’s shared governance system, which also includes the Staff Senate and the Student Government Association. Senators are elected by their peers.

The full body met in regular session Feb. 1 in Chao Auditorium at Ekstrom Library. Chair Bob Staat presided. This is what happened:

Reports to the Senate

Shirley Willihnganz, provost. Students are going to Frankfort on Feb. 7 — sans shoes — to make a point, and that’s exactly what they should be doing, Willihnganz said. Going barefoot is their way of telling legislators that they need to invest in education to change the stereotypical image of Kentuckians. Gov. Steve Beshear’s proposed budget includes a 6.4 percent cut to higher education.

“Students are our most powerful voice in issues like this,” she said. For that reason, the provost has added the Rally for Higher Education to the excused absence list. Students who attend should give faculty a completed excused absence form. The Student Government Association also will take roll and be able to confirm a student’s participation.

Willihnganz reported for herself and for President James Ramsey, who was attending a meeting of the university presidents. She said that Ramsey was to testify before the General Assembly in Frankfort on Feb. 2.

“We’re working as hard as we can to get a better budget situation for us, but there isn’t much hope.” On-campus efforts include looking at ways to improve efficiency – such as buying office supplies and uniforms in bulk. Several committees also are meeting to look for ways to save money. Deans have been asked to develop a plan to cut 3 percent from their budgets, but the full 3 percent probably won’t be necessary, Willihnganz said.

“There are a lot of things we’re talking about that we’re probably not going to do. But we are going to talk about them because we have to consider everything,” she said.

Willihnganz also made these points in her report:

  • Searches are beginning or are under way for these deans: College of Business, School of Public Health and Information Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, which may be an internal search based on the way SIGS works.
  • These deans and vice presidents are having reviews this year: Jim Chen, law dean; Edward Halperin, medicine dean; Larry Owsley, business affairs vice president; and Tom Jackson, student affairs vice president. All reviews are set for completion by end of August.
  • The hospital is considering several options in wake of the governor’s decision not to allow it to merge with Jewish Hospital and Catholic Health Initiatives.

Institutional Research. Bob Goldstein, associate university provost; Il Barrow, institutional research analyst; and Cheryl Gilchrist, director of undergraduate assessment and retention, presented results of a Faculty Survey on Student Engagement that faculty who teach at least one undergraduate course were asked to complete last year.

  • They compared the results from the FSSE to results of the 2009 National Survey on Student Engagement which freshmen and seniors take.
  • The comparison was to determine gaps in the perception of student engagement between faculty and students and find ways to “close the loop.”
  • Findings will help direct campus conversation on improving the student experience.
  • Faculty can get a copy of the results from their deans.

Marie Kendall Brown, Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning, talked about the upcoming Feb. 10 Celebration of Teaching and Learning.

  • This year’s theme is using technology to improve student learning.
  • Emphasis is on effective pedagogy.
  • Guest speaker is Cynthia Selfe, humanities distinguished professor, English department, The Ohio State University. She is a technology innovator.
  • UofL faculty are leading 13 concurrent sessions, which will allow faculty to share best practices with campus colleagues.
  • A technology café will be available so faculty can practice with new instructional technologies.
  • Admission is free.
  • Faculty can attend all day or part of the day.
  • More information is at the Delphi Center.

The Senate will meet again Wednesday,March 7, in Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library.

Prepared by Janene Zaccone, internal communications manager, for the Faculty Senate

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