Faculty Senate Meeting Overview June 2013
The Faculty Senate met in regular session June 5 at the School of Dentistry. Chair Joe Steffen presided.
The senate approved a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art and Design. MFAs are terminal degrees in the visual arts and the program will provide a more robust degree for graduates who want to teach at the college level, work in arts-related corporate positions or in museums and galleries. The MFA program is 60 hours and includes a thesis exhibition, written thesis based on independent research and oral defense of the written thesis and exhibition. Read the proposal (opens as PDF). The Hite Art Institute will continue to offer a Master of Arts degree with a studio art emphasis, which it expects to continue to draw K-12 teachers.
Provost Shirley Willihnganz thanked senators for “another great year.” She reviewed several items that have been communicated already, including the timeline for the 21st Century University initiative. The Steering Committee for that initiative will meet June 19 to review subcommittee recommendations and will bring them to the Faculty and Staff senates, as well as the Board of Trustees, at their July meetings. Willihnganz said that those broad recommendations will come to the remainder of campus in August. After that, there will be more study to further refine the ideas into concrete tactics. The impetus of the initiative is really good, she said, noting that there will be “tough conversations ahead to protect the core of what makes a great university.”
Willihnganz also noted that the number of incoming freshmen is at more than 2,900. Even if some of those students decide not to come to UofL, she said, administrators still expect the number to exceed projections by a couple of hundred. While in the short-term there will be some creative space use for classrooms, in the long-term the unexpected increase is “great…because it means more students want to go here,” she said. The provost also noted that the incoming students are high-caliber scholars.
Chair Joe Steffen gave a rundown of issues he plans the senate to work on starting in the fall. Among them are a proposed summer session business plan, the excused absence policy and a review of the senate bylaws to answer philosophical and practical questions about both membership in and the ability to serve as an officer of the Faculty Senate.
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, July 3.