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Faculty Senate Overview September, 2011

by UofL Today last modified Sep 08, 2011 03:36 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 Sept. 7 at Ekstrom Library. Chair Bob Staat presided. This is what happened:


  • First readings of the School of Medicine personnel document and of several sections of Redbook section 4 that relate to dispute resolution (formerly called grievance procedures), termination and work performed outside of the university. Revisions to the dispute resolution process are the result of a 3-year process that began at the behest of Provost Shirley Willihnganz. The senate will have second readings of the documents and discussion at its October meeting.
  • Approval of a proposal for the Center for Mental Health Disparities, under the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. The center will develop and support research projects, training, community outreach and service to address mental health disparities and increase resiliency among historically under-served families in the community (ethnic and cultural minorities as well as low socioeconomic status and distressed neighborhoods). L. Kevin Chapman will be director. The full proposal is at

Reports to the Senate

President James Ramsey and David Dunn, executive vice president for health affairs, gave an update on the proposed merger of University of Louisville Hospital, James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Jewish Hospital/St. Mary’s Healthcare and Catholic Health Initiatives/St. Joseph Health System.

Here are some of their points:

  • University Hospital is a separate 501(c)3 entity and is not part of the university. It opened in 1983 in its current form. Humana ran it from 1983 to 1996. From 1996-2008 a board composed of Jewish Hospital, Norton Hospital and UofL ran it.
  • The merger is very important to UofL because it helps the university achieve its state mandate under the Postsecondary Education Reform Act of 1997 to improve the quality of life of Kentuckians through research, community service and academics.
  • As the Kentucky legislature has cut state appropriations to universities (11 cuts in 11 years), UofL has sought funding through other means. One of those is to increase the clinical income to the School of Medicine and other health sciences schools. Clinical income comes largely from University Hospital.
  •  The hospital’s patient population is 21 percent uninsured.
  •  The board did an analysis and found that it could not continue to operate without either cutting indigent care or clinical support of the university.
  • The proposed merger will bring in needed cash.
  • Merger agreement protects sanctity of doctor-patient relationship, academic freedom and assures provision of highest quality care.
  • The agreement has unwind clauses that allow University Hospital to be released from the agreement if the board of the merged entity ever were to put anything in place that would keep UofL from meeting its mandate or make the School of Medicine lose its accreditation in any area.

Larry Owsley, vice president for business affairs, gave an update on campus facilities, especially the development northwest of Belknap Campus. Among his points:

  • Between 2000 and 2006, Bettie Johnson Hall, Kurz Hall, Billy Minardi Hall and Community Park were built as part of a housing cluster along 4th Street and Cardinal Boulevard. They were part of the 1993 university master plan.
  • Because state funding was not available for renovation of existing housing, UofL entered into affiliate agreements with private developers for housing ─ The Province, The Bellamy and Cardinal Towne, which has just opened its first phase. Cardinal Towne, Owsley said, also brings retails space, which is needed to develop a residential campus: People need things to do at night and on weekends.
  • New student recreation center construction will begin in December. It will be in the area of the student housing, northwest of Belknap Campus. Students have been major players in its design.
  • New affiliated student and staff housing has just opened a block from the Clinical and Translational Research Building at the Health Sciences Center. If it is successful, the developer plans to build more.
  • As renovation and new construction takes place, UofL is integrating sustainable measures, such as permeable surfaces and aquifers, and motion-activated lighting.

Sam Connally, vice president for human resources, updated the senate on UofL’s health insurance as open enrollment nears (last two weeks in October). Among his points:

  • HR doesn’t expect any plan design changes.
  • Connally doesn’t expect there to be an increase in the total cost of the health plan options for either employees or the university.
  • HR is proposing that this year be a year to “normalize” rates so employees pay a more equal rate regardless of the plan they have. That means that people who have PPOs will pay slightly more for their plans and people with an EPO or HCA high or HCA low would be slightly less. Connally asked the senate for feedback on the last point.

The Senate will meet again Wednesday, Oct 5.

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

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