May 2011 Faculty Senate Meeting Overview
The Faculty Senate is part of UofL's shared governance system, which also includes the Staff Senate and Student Government Association. Senators are elected by their peers.
The full body met in regular session May 4 at Ekstrom Library. Chair Bob Staat presided. This is what happened:
- The senate had its annual officer elections and re-elected Bob Staat, Dentistry, as chair and Joe Steffen, A&S, as vice chair.
- The senate had its first reading of the College of Education and Human Development bylaws. The senate review process had been under way, but was restarted because CEHD faculty had not voted on the changes. The second reading and vote will be in June.
Reports to the Senate
Sam Connally, VP for human resources: Connally updated the senate on proposed policy and benefit changes. The proposed changes are in line with what he had discussed previously in the senate. The proposal will go to the UofL Board of Trustees May 12 with approval expected in June. The changes in UofL's tuition remission policy, retirement plan and health insurance program are designed, among other reasons, to help save money which can be rechanneled to pay for proposed employee raises. Check UofL Today later in May for complete coverage.
President James Ramsey: Ramsey talked about Kentucky's financial outlook and said he is optimistic that universities won't have more budget cuts in the near future given the increase in non-agriculture jobs and a projected revenue surplus. He said that he doesn't expect there to be an influx of money from the commonwealth, however. His other points included:
- The Board of Trustees meets May 12 and will have on its agenda discussion of the university budget and of the proposed merger of UofL Hospital with Saint Joseph Health Systems and St. Mary's HealthCare/Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services.
- The Board of Trustees will vote on the budget in June. The hospital merger also could be up for a vote in June, depending on whether it passes the other entities' boards.
- The annual Board of Trustees retreat will be on campus in July, rather than at an off-site facility, to better acquaint trustees with the university.
Provost Shirley Willihnganz: Willihnganz reminded the senate that the proposed student tuition increase is not paying for employee raises. She said that raises are possible because of changes to the tuition remission policy and the health insurance and retirement benefits, and also because of income-generating measures she has required of departments.
Her other points included:
- The Council on Postsecondary Education will be on campus May 9 to review metrics by which it will measure UofL's success.
- She thanked faculty for "another very good semester."
- She encouraged faculty to attend commencement. "It is the very best day" of the semester, she said, and a measure of everyone's success.
- She reminded senators of the ice cream socials set for May 10 on Belknap Campus and June 8 at the Health Sciences Center. She and President Ramsey will be in attendance. The events are at the suggestion of the Great Places to Work initiative.
Janene Zaccone, editor of UofL Today and internal communications manager in the Office of Communications and Marketing, prepared this report at the request of the Faculty Senate.