University Senate - December 3, 2018 Meeting Minutes

Call to Order and Announcements

The University Senate was called to order at 3:50 p.m., in Room 111 Harrison Hall, Oxford Campus, on Monday, December 3, 2018. Members absent:  Juan Carlos Albarrán, Susan Baim, Shelly Jarrett Bromberg, Bradley Davis, Annika Fowler, Sande Garner, Chip Hahn, Benedict Njoku, Molly O’Donnell, Tom Poetter, Ashley Pool, Vince Smith, Steven Tuck, Scott Walter, Caroline Weimer, Cheryl Young, and Madeline Zinkl.

  1. Announcements and Remarks by the Chair of University Senate, Phyllis Callahan
    1. Faculty Assembly meets Thursday, December 6, 2018, from 4:15-5:15. The Strategic Planning co-chairs will be presenting, and budget planning considerations will be discussed. Faculty are encouraged to attend.

Approval of University Senate Minutes

  1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to approve the November 19, 2018, minutes of University Senate with one correction.

    Senators asked for replacement of the word ‘discussed’ with the word ‘noted’.

Provost Callahan asked senators to delay a vote on the consent calendar until after presentation of Games and Simulation major due to the multiple curriculum changes on the curriculum consent calendar.

New Business

  1. SR 19-02 – Games and Simulation Major, B.S., College of Creative Arts – Liz Mullenix, Dean, College of Creative Arts

    1. Dean Mullenix introduced the proposed new major, which totals 79 credit hours. It was noted that although it has a studio component, it is a Bachelor of Science due to the knowledge of computer coding needed. The curriculum is currently offered as a track. If offered as a new major, there will be three concentrations – game art, game development, and game studies.  A total of 37 courses have been deleted, and new courses for the major are on the consent calendar.  

    2. The major will be enrollment managed. Students will have to go through an application process, which includes submission of a game idea. Each cohort will have a maximum of 25 students. Student who are currently in the games and simulation track will be moved into the major.

    3. There were questions about staffing. Dean Mullenix indicated that IMS supports itself with 14 faculty, 4 VAPS and affiliate faculty. Additionally, there are Armstrong professors in all the divisions.

    4. There was a question about competition. In Ohio. University of Akron, Ohio University, and The Ohio State University have programs; however, there is not regional competition.

    5. The proposed new major has gotten approval from the chairs of ART, WST and CSE.

    6. The following resolution was presented and voted on.

SR 19-02

December 3, 2018

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that University Senate endorse the proposed degree, Bachelor of Science, with a major in Games and Simulation, College of Creative Arts;

AND FURTHERMORE, that the endorsement by University Senate of the proposed degree and major will be forwarded to the Miami University Board of Trustees for consideration.

SR 19-02 was passed by voice vote.

After the passing of resolution, the Consent Calendar was presented.

Consent Calendar

  1. The following items were received on the Consent Calendar without debate.
    1. Graduate Council Minutes – October 9, 2018
    2. Governance Committee Minutes – November 9, 2018
    3. Curriculum Consent

New Business

  1. Fiscal Priorities and Budget Planning Committee Report – Stacey Lowery Bretz, Chair
    1. The focus of the presentation was the Fiscal Priorities and Budget Planning Committee Annual Report, which was approved as part of the consent calendar on September 24, 2018.  Fiscal Priorities is a standing committee of Senate that works closely with senior administration and reports regularly to senate.
    2. Questions that faculty are asking of the Fiscal Priorities Committee include::
      1. We just brought in the largest class ever. How can the budget forecast be so gloomy? It is important to know that the net tuition revenue generated from a non-resident student is approximately equal to the net tuition revenue from 3 in-state students. Issues include a decline in non-resident yield, increased tuition discounting, an increasingly competitive market, the Ohio General Assembly’s freeze on new fees, and the fact that our competitors in the market have larger endowments.
      2. Why don’t we increase enrollment?  A larger class would require hiring more faculty and would increase the demand for student services.  Additionally, to increase the class size, we would have to go deeper into the applicant pool, which would affect the quality measures and where student demand may not be well aligned with programs that have excess capacity.
      3. Why can’t some of the $50M for Boldly Creative be used to hire more faculty?  Senators were reminded that the $50M was swept from carry-forward and are not permanent budget dollars. Boldly Creative should lead to hiring new faculty in programs that can generate net new revenue to sustain the new hires.
    3. The budget implications of curriculum were discussed. There is a need to think of curriculum in terms of money. There is a spiral pattern of course creation, curriculum bloat and under-enrolled/cancelled classes. The issue is exacerbated by divisions creating more Miami Plan and major courses to justify hiring more faculty in order to increase RCM allocations. This leads to more curriculum bloat, redistribution of the existing number of students, which spirals again into low enrolled courses and course cancellations.
    4. The Fiscal Priorities Annual Report made eight recommendations – the first three were focused on curriculum. From the Report:
      1. Curriculum Composition. The Committee recommends that the University Senate, in consultation with the University Registrar, initiate a review of the curriculum (majors, minors, courses) and make recommendations about how the curriculum can be streamlined. Miami cannot continuously grow our curriculum and simultaneously evolve to address the future needs of our students and society in the current budget environment.
      2. Programs and Majors. The Committee recommends that the University Senate develop guidelines for the re-organization of programs and majors which no longer garner sufficient student interest and, therefore, are not an area of Miami strength and future growth. This will require extensive consultation with the faculty to evolve some programs and majors which may be more in harmony with the needs of society.
      3. Academic Master Plan. Furthermore, the Committee recommends the University Senate and its Executive Committee to develop an academic master plan for Miami University so as to address the needs of society and to help recruit a high caliber and diverse student body to our institution. Boldly Creative is a good start, but the committee feels that a more comprehensive academic plan including specific action items to be addressed by each academic division is also needed. This master plan should build upon the Miami brand, enhance student profile, strategically (re)- allocate faculty resources and continue to provide forward looking curriculum options and help reduce the budget dependence upon undergraduate tuition in the long term.
    5. Faculty are encouraged to discuss fiscal matters with department chairs and Deans. Fiscal Priorities suggests these important questions be discussed:
      1. How can we adjust to the rapidly changing landscape of higher education?
      2. What is the balanced between offering innovative, competitive programs and maintaining the strength and value of a liberal arts education?
      3. Given that budgets continue to remain constrained, how do we maintain a tenure-line faculty consisting of high quality scholars?
      4. What processes are in place to determine when a department is too small (#faculty, #majors) to remain viable?)
    6. Questions and comments:
      1. What percentage of classes are being cancelled due to low enrollment? Low enrollment reports are sent out to each of the deans each semester.
      2. How do online courses fall into this? 
      3. A concern was voiced that the curriculum issue is getting worse because there are not enough checks and balances and RCM has exacerbated this. A comment was made that RCM has been in place for 4 years and there was a comprehensive review done two years ago.
      4. A comment was made that not everything we’re doing at Miami is revenue generating, nor must everything be revenue generating. However, those programs that are revenue generating must generate enough revenue to cover the costs of those programs that are not. There needs to be collaboration between departments.  Curriculum needs to be innovative and high quality.
    7. A suggestion was made that the curriculum discussion continue at the January 28, 2019, meeting. Senators asked if there could be consideration for extending the meeting times to accommodate a more extensive discussion. Executive Committee will be discussing the options as well as the agenda for January 28.


  1. Report by the Chair of the Executive Committee of University Senate, Terri Barr
    1. Senator Barr has given the questions/comments from the Senators’ survey to the appropriate committees for consideration.


  1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to adjourn the Executive Session of University Senate.

Call to Order

  1. The Regular Session of University Senate was convened.

Approval of University Senate Abbreviated Minutes

  1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to approve the December 3, 2018, abbreviated minutes of University Senate.


  1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to adjourn the Regular Session of University Senate.

Next scheduled meeting of University Senate:

January 28, 2019, 3:50 p.m.

Room 111 Harrison Hall, Oxford Campus