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Faculty Senate to explore summer session options

by UofL Today last modified Nov 12, 2012 12:47 PM

The Faculty Senate met in regular session Nov. 7 at in Chao Auditorium. Chair Joe Steffen opened the meeting, which primarily was informational in nature.

Senate to look into summer session

The senate, however, did begin a process to identify ways UofL might better enhance the summer session for students and from a fiscal standpoint. Senators had reviewed the university calendar structure that Purdue University plans to implement and used it as a starting point for discussion.

Senators noted that several UofL units already have full, regular summer schedules and other units cannot have summer session because their buildings are booked for other things.

Chair Steffen asked senators to form an ad hoc committee to investigate how UofL units already conduct summer classes and how benchmark universities structure their summer schedules. They are to bring the information back after the winter break.

Report Highlights

Faculty Grievance Officer Enid Trucios-Haynes gave her annual report and said that two of the four grievances were filed between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012 are pending resolution. Of the four filed, one of those was a Type 1 grievance filed under new regulations that took effect Oct. 13, 2011. Those regulations require that people seeking to file a grievance consult with the university ombuds beforehand to see what options exist to address their complaint. Trucios-Haynes said she did not have data to indicate how many grievances have been resolved informally after ombuds consultation. See her full report. (pdf).

Ombuds Tony Belak also gave his annual report to the senate. It covered the period December 2011 to October 2012. During that time, 260 people contacted him. Of that number, 97 people were faculty. Belak said he does not keep records of contacts or of outcomes because his job is to be a confidential source of information on what options employees have to address their concerns.

“I listen. We look at options and choices and they decide. I don’t advise. I don’t advocate.” He said a continuing theme for people who have conflict concerns is poor communication, lack of respect by colleagues or supervisors and fear of reprisal for reaching out for help. Belak said he is available to come to departments and talk about what employees can do to improve their interactions and relationships. Full Ombuds Report (pdf).

Provost Shirley Willihnganz reported that the deans of music, dentistry, nursing and Kent school are having reviews this year. The public health dean search committee has brought recommendations to her. The business dean search committee has identified a short list to invite for airport interviews. She has put together a committee to search for the medicine dean.

Willihnganz also said that the Belknap and HSC Town Hall sessions with President James Ramsey, her and executive vice presidents David Dunn (health affairs) and Bill Pierce (research and innovation) went well. The provost’s staff has taken every question asked, put it into a spreadsheet and assigned people to find answers. When the information is complete, her staff will forward it to the Office of Communications and Marketing for communication to faculty and staff.

President James Ramsey spoke briefly about what was coming up the following day on the Board of Trustees agenda. Part of his report to the board, he said, would include his fall outreach tour.

The tour started as a “great lead in” to the legislative session, to talk to people about higher education issues and allow students to speak to people about their experience at UofL. Ramsey tours the state with students from the areas he visits. Faculty go with him sometimes to talk about their work. They visit high schools, alumni events and other venues. “The biggest payoff has been in student recruitment,” he said.

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, Dec. 5, in Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library, Belknap Campus.

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

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