The Faculty Senate’s gavel transfer took place Wednesday between former chair Enid Trucios-Haynes and new chair Krista Wallace-Boaz.
“It has been a privilege to represent the faculty for the past two years. It has been an exceptionally busy two years. I tried to do my best,” Trucios-Haynes said.
“Each of us would describe the past two years differently, including ‘historic.’ You have led us with such integrity, wisdom and grace,” Wallace-Boaz responded. “You have been calm, cool and collected for us.”
UofL President Neeli Bendapudi also thanked Trucios-Haynes for her service as chair.
“It’s not always easy to step up and be the one to make the change, but you did just that,” Bendapudi said.
Bendapudi also discussed current challenges, including the 5 percent budget cuts.
“I have been meeting with alumni and donors tirelessly and we have several gifts coming that we’ll announce soon,” she said. “I am energized by what I’ve heard.”
Bendapudi recently hosted a presidential retreat that included all deans, vice presidents and other administrators.
“What came out of this meeting is that we need to clearly understand our finances – where it’s coming from and where it’s going,” she said. “We need to understand the money we get from the state and performance-based funding.”
Last year, the University of Kentucky met 11 out of 11 standards for performance-based funding, while UofL met six out of 11.
“That has financial implications,” she said, noting that this week will begin a round of discussions with each unit to ensure a firmer grasp on the university’s financials. “I will ask the leaders to push that information down so that we all have that information – faculty and staff.”
Bendapudi’s inauguration is scheduled for Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. Classes will be canceled at that time so students and faculty will have an opportunity to attend.
“I am looking at this event as an opportunity to reconnect – to de-mystify who we are and what we do,” she said.
Bendapudi opened the floor to questions, including what her impression is from the community.
“I see a deep love for this university,” she said. “But I think they’re confused about what has happened. They want to engage again and that is why we’re trying to build back that trust. I am super optimistic about where we’re headed.”
Provost Beth Boehm also provided an update from her office, noting that UofL has submitted its response to SAC and that it is a “strong report.”
The budget advisory committee has been disbanded and will not be reconstituted.
“Part of the reason for that is because I’ve charged a lot of committees and they all have a budget focus,” she said.
There is also a new revenue committee, with Jim Begany, vice provost for strategic enrollment management and student success, School of Dentistry Dean Gerard Bradley, CFO Dan Durbin and Boehm.
There are three additional new committees:
- Enrollment management committee, to assess what the right size of growth is for UofL
- Retention and persistence, which will gauge the effectiveness of our approach and look at best practices
- Summer utilization, which is focused on both strong students who could bump up to sophomores during the summer, and students who are less prepared, to help get them caught up
Also, the student code of rights now requires a substantive evaluation before a student’s withdrawal. Faculty (or administrators) will be required to provide a midterm report if a student is marked at risk. Beth Willey will conduct faculty training on how to do this.
There are 47 classes that will be measured for effectiveness during this first pilot year. These classes – in the College of Business, Speed School, CEHD and A&S – have presented the biggest challenges for our students. However, the reporting platform is open to all faculty and classes and will be encouraged.
Finally, Boehm has charged herself with two major initiatives as provost:
- Improving student success/retention rates
- Improving performance on the performance-based funding model
Diane Tobin, who was named ombudsman over the summer, was introduced to the Faculty Senate. She shared her main goal in the position, “To deal with conflicts in an informal, independent, neutral and confidential way.”
Tobin will be on the HSC campus twice a month.
Faculty Grievance Officer Cedric Powell provided a report on faculty grievances, noting that it seems as though there are more grievances than usual, but cautioning against calling it a trend.
SGA Academic Vice President Lazaro Munoz said his group is working on safety initiatives, especially focusing on deterring bike thefts. There is also a new student-run shuttle.
The SGA has been meeting with the provost to improve student success initiatives for all students, not just first-year students. Finally, the group is looking into a book-leasing program that would ideally make books more affordable.
Past Chair Trucios-Haynes provided three different reports, including the required annual Redbook statement reviewing the academic program of the university and other concerns of the faculty, and making appropriate recommendations.
The Redbook committee presented the first reading of the School of Medicine amendments to its bylaws:
- SoM is asking Faculty Senate to approve some fairly minor changes as outlined in the documents presented.
- Constituency of Search committee for chair changed and limits on terms of service on certain committees defined.
Also, the School of Dentistry is asking for a first reading of their amended Personnel policies:
- Most changes in the document are clarification/expanded definitions of terms
- Criteria for promotions explained much more clearly
The Academic Programs annual report is online.
The Committee on Committees and Credentials report is online.
The Planning and Budget Committee report is online.
The Executive Committee report is online.
The Faculty Athletics Representative report is online.
Finally, the meeting calendar for the duration of 2018-19 was approved by the Faculty Senate. It is available online. The next meeting is Oct. 3 on the HSC Campus.