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University Senate approves two new majors, supports domestic partner benefits

University Senate heard a report from Robin Parker, Miami's general counsel, on EthicsPoint® System, an external and anonymous process for reporting malfeasance, at the Dec. 5 meeting.

Senate approved the Nov. 21 minutes as amended; a new major, Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies; a new major, East Asian Languages and Cultures; Senate Resolution SR 06-13; and Senate Resolution SR 06-17. The next meeting will be 3:05 p.m. Jan. 23 in 111 Harrison Hall.

SR 06-13

WHEREAS, Miami University Senate is comprised of 69 voting members representing faculty, administration, staff, undergraduate students and graduate students; and

WHEREAS, Miami University Senate is the primary university governance body where students, faculty, staff, and administrators debate university issues and reach conclusions on the policies and actions to be taken by the institution; and

WHEREAS, Miami University Senate is the legislative body of the University in matters involving educational programs, requirements, and standards; faculty welfare; and student conduct; and

WHEREAS, the Miami University Board of Trustees delegates to University Senate primary responsibility for curriculum, programs, and course offerings; and advisory responsibility on all matters related to Miami University; and

WHEREAS, Miami University Senate adopted Senate Resolution SR 94-23 (April 25, 1994) supporting the position that Miami University should treat all employees equitably with respect to all terms and conditions of employment regardless of whether they are married or partners in a domestic partnership; and

WHEREAS, the Ohio Defense of Marriage Act, HB 272, signed by Ohio Governor Taft, does not prohibit state-supported universities from granting all nonstatutory-based benefits to domestic partners; and

WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of Ohio stated that the boards of trustees from state-supported universities have the discretion to decide to whom they provide benefits; and

WHEREAS, Miami University Senate adopted Senate Resolution SR 04-15 (February 9, 2004) reaffirming its long-standing position that benefits be extended to domestic partners of Miami University employees; and

WHEREAS, Miami University Student Senate adopted Resolution 33-2 (April 6, 2004) endorsing the University Senate's position that benefits be extended to a domestic partner of Miami University employees; and

WHEREAS, Miami University President, Dr. James Garland, announced on June 25, 2004, to the Board of Trustees that effective July 1, 2004, Miami University would extend benefits to the domestic partners of benefit-eligible employees for the purposes of strengthening the University and thereby enhancing its ability to recruit and retain members of the faculty and staff; and

WHEREAS, Miami University Board of Trustees, on June 25, 2004, by voice vote, unanimously affirmed the administrative decision to extend benefits to domestic partners of benefit-eligible employees; and

WHEREAS, Miami University Senate adopted Senate Resolution SR 05-01 (September 27, 2004) commending President Garland for his administrative decision to extend benefits to domestic partners for the purposes of strengthening the University and thereby enhancing its ability to recruit and retain members of the faculty and staff; and applauding the Miami University Board of Trustees for their affirmation of that decision; and

WHEREAS, State Representative Thomas Brinkman, Jr., has filed a lawsuit against Miami University alleging that the University's domestic partner benefit program violates Article XV, Section 11 of the Ohio Constitution (“Marriage Amendment”) and asking the Butler County Court of Common Pleas to enjoin the University from continuing to provide domestic partnership benefits;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT University Senate reaffirms its long-standing support of extending benefits to domestic partners of Miami University employees; Senate also commends President Garland for his leadership role in approving this policy and announcing it to the Miami University Board of Trustees. Be it further resolved that University Senate commends the Board of Trustees for affirming this administrative decision thereby strengthening the University's ability to recruit and retain members of the faculty and staff and to bring its employment practices into closer accord with the values that inform Miami University in discharging its mission.

SR 06-17

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED THAT the Senate encourages all Miami University faculty to visit the State Teacher's Retirement System website (www.strsoh.org) to learn more about the STRS proposal to increase the percentage of pay withheld from participating employees for the purpose of funding health insurance for retirees; and encourages all faculty to complete the online survey making his or her view known to the State Teacher's Retirement System (STRS) on this issue.

Date Published: 12/15/2005
Volume: 25   Number: 19

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