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Faculty Senate Meeting Overview January 2013

by Janene Zaccone, communications and marketing last modified Jan 10, 2013 02:39 PM

The Faculty Senate met in regular session Jan. 9 at in Chao Auditorium. Chair Joe Steffen opened the meeting.

Report Highlights

Marie Kendall Brown, assistant director for teaching and learning, Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning, talked about the Feb. 8 Celebration of Teaching & Learning. The annual one-day faculty professional development conference this year focuses on learning science — both the research behind it and how to incorporate it in teaching. The Celebration is on Shelby Campus, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Faculty who cannot attend still have opportunities to hear keynote speaker Terry Doyle, author of “Learner Centered Teaching: Putting the Research on Learning into Practice,” Feb. 7 on Belknap Campus and at the Health Sciences Center. Information on the Celebration. Brown also asked senators to encourage graduate students who want to teach to apply to attend. The Delphi Center is working with the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies to help GTAs develop teaching skills.

President James Ramsey, instead of giving a report, asked Dana Mayton, senior associate vice president for government relations, to talk to senators about how they can help the university during the legislative session in Frankfort. Mayton told them that her office reviews every bill that is submitted to see whether it has potential to affect UofL as an institution of higher education or as a large employer. She and her staff often ask faculty members with expertise in a bill’s area to review it to see whether they need to track its progress through the legislature. During the session, a group meets weekly to discuss the bills, UofL’s position on them and tactics to reach legislators. Since this legislative session is a short one with little time for action, Mayton said that Government Relations is focusing on getting ready for the 2014 session. One issue that will come up is money for needed classroom buildings on Belknap Campus and at the Health Sciences Center. She said that faculty can help Government Relations craft the message they take to Frankfort because they understand the need firsthand. She also told them that Government Relations can help them learn how to talk to legislators with whom they may have personal relationships, about the issues that affect UofL. Mayton can be reached via email.

Provost Shirley Willihnganz talked again about the 21st Century University initiative, noting that there will be forums this month (one on Belknap and one at the HSC) where she and Ramsey will clarify the intent of the initiative. “This is not strategic planning,” she said. “It is a bit of visioning — Who do we want to be and how to get there? How do we keep moving forward?” When the process is completed, she said, the answer may be one of three things: That we are on the right course and don’t need to make any changes. That we just need to tweak what we’re doing, or that we need to stop what we’re doing and develop a new plan.

Joe Steffen brought an information item to the group for comment. The Sustainability Council and the student group, GRASS (Group Recycling and Sustainable Solutions) have presented a Proposal for a Plastic Bottle Fee at the University of Louisville (pdf) to Willihnganz. The proposal is one that the provost could act on without consulting faculty, staff or students, but she is asking for campus input and asked Steffen to solicit feedback from the senate. Senators agreed with the proposal in concept.

Steffen also reported that he continues to conduct a SWOT analyses on summer session with deans and other groups. He will seek student input, as well. He brought forward a new idea to create an infrastructure, much like what exists for students, to help better position faculty who want to apply for Fulbright and other prestigious awards. The senate discussed the idea briefly before adjourning, but came to no resolution on the question.

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 senate will meet again Wednesday, Feb. 6, in Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library, Belknap Campus.

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