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Faculty Senate Meeting Overview May 2013

by Janene Zaccone, communications and marketing last modified May 07, 2013 03:11 PM

The Faculty Senate met in regular session May 1 at in Chao Auditorium.

Chair Joe Steffen opened the meeting, which was a combination of the annual election meeting and regular monthly meeting.

Election Results

The senate re-elected Joe Steffen chair and Pam Feldhoff as vice chair.


The senate approved a certificate program in diversity literacy. The program is designed for people who already have degrees. It will be interdisciplinary in nature and housed in the Department of Philosophy. Read the proposal (opens as PDF).

Senators also approved revisions to the School of Music bylaws (opens as PDF).

Request for Action

Beth Boehm, dean of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, and Marie Brown, assistant director for teaching and learning at the Delphi Center, asked senators to nominate departments for the Paul Weber Award for Departmental Excellence. A committee has worked for the past year to refocus the award on teaching. It is intended to provide genuine incentive for departments to review and assess the quality of teaching at all levels. Only one department will receive the award, which carries $30,000. More information is at the Delphi Center. Information sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, May 8, 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Room W210, Ekstrom Library; and Thursday, June 20, 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Delphi Center, second floor, Ekstrom Library.

Report Highlights

Provost Shirley Willihnganz talked about the 21st Century University Initiative. Committees are hard at work coming up with suggestions for areas ranging from procurement to international involvement. The provost said she is drafting a campuswide email that she hopes to send the week of May 6. The 21st Century University Initiative timeline is for a rough draft of the report to be completed by the end of May. It will go through review by the senates, commissions and other constituency groups in June and then to the Board of Trustees in July. The board will not vote on it in July, however. The provost wants faculty and staff who are not on campus in the summer to have an opportunity to review it. They will have that opportunity in early fall and the report will go to the board for a vote in October.

Bob Staat, senator from the School of Dentistry, unveiled an online Faculty Handbook that has links to a variety of information that faculty need, including policies governing faculty appoints, general university policies and benefits information. “Virtually any topic you want,” Staat said, has a link.

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, June 5.

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