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Faculty Senate Meeting Overview January 2012

by UofL Today last modified Jan 12, 2012 12:18 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 Jan. 11 in Chao Auditorium at Ekstrom Library. Chair Bob Staat presided. This is what happened:


Reports to the Senate

“We have to have a lot of faith in ourselves. We’ve figured it out before. We will figure it out again and will hold on to the things that are important to us.” That is what Provost Shirley Willihnganz told faculty senators about pending state budget cuts to higher education.

Both she and President James Ramsey addressed the issue in their reports to the senate. Noting that UofL will not know until Gov. Steve Beshear releases his budget on Jan. 17 what the cut will be, they said they are preparing for a 5 percent cut, and have taken several steps so far, including:

  • Reactivating the budget advisory committee
  • Imposing a hiring freeze
  • Requesting deans and vice presidents to review their units for available funding
  • Looking at open budget lines for possible funding

Willihnganz and Ramsey credited faculty with the progress of the past decade toward meeting the state’s higher education reform mandate of the late 1990s.

“It’s not because of us,” Ramsey said. “We’re just bureaucrats…. It’s because of your work that the things happening at UofL are happening at UofL. It’s not going to be easy, but we will continue moving forward.”

“We must come together as much as we can as a team to come up with creative solutions,” Willihnganz said.

Willihnganz also made these points in her report:

  • Students who go to the Feb. 7 Rally for Higher Education in Frankfort should be included in faculty excused absence programs and allowed to make up missed work. SGA will take roll so students will have proof they attended. “With the budget situation the way it is, the more students who are advocating for us and for themselves, the better.”
  • The tuition task force will consider fees and tuition when gauging the total financial impact to students.
  • She has reactivated the Great Places to Work committee. Three things make a great place to work: pride in institutional accomplishments and employees’ feeling they contributed to them; colleagues who are worth spending time with; and trust and open communication. She asked the senate to help her with ideas on how to foster those qualities at UofL.

Ramsey also made these points in his report:

  • The budgeting process will include input from the budgeting committee, tuition task force and campus constituency groups. He will start soliciting feedback in the within the next month.
  • The Health Sciences TIF was activated this month and will generate funding for UofL’s infrastructure for 30 years. Read more.
  • He hopes to get approval for the Belknap Campus TIF soon.
  • University Hospital is looking at options now that the governor has said he will not approve the proposed merger with CHI and Jewish/St. Mary’s HealthCare. An independent review said that the hospital will not survive without a change; 21 percent of its clientele is non-paying.
  • Charting our Course comprehensive fundraising campaign is at $580 million to date. The goal is $1 billion.

Bob Fox, dean, University Libraries

Fox has been at UofL almost one year. He reported on University Libraries’ strategic planning process. Here are some of his points:

  • The strategic plan is based on UofL’s 2020 Plan goals.
  • The plan covers relationships, collections and spaces, generally, and specifically such things as surveying faculty and students about the libraries and creating a student advisory board.
  • He is vetting it with internal and external groups.

Becky Simpson, senior associate vice president for communications and marketing

Simpson has been at UofL since May. She was on the UofL Board of Overseers for 10 years and also worked with UofL in the past as owner of a local agency. She presented the Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM) strategic plan. Here are some of her points:

  • OCM is moving back toward an integrated marketing approach to better serve campus units.
  • A universitywide communications committee allows people in OCM and in units who do communications and marketing jobs to share ideas and resources.
  • OCM is looking for opportunities to extend the life of UofL stories beyond local news, including regional and national news, advertising, billboards, etc.
  • OCM is developing a “points of pride” website that members of the UofL community can use as a resource when preparing presentations or other materials.

The Senate will meet again Wednesday, Feb. 1, in Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library.

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

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