University Senate - January 28, 2019 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, January 28, 2019.  Members absent:  Jasmine Adkins, Susan Baim, Bradley Davis, Michele Dickey, Yildirim Dilek, Katie Eudy, John Forren, Chip Hahn, Vahagn Manukian, and Caroline Weimer.

  1. Announcements and Remarks by the Chair of University Senate, Phyllis Callahan
    1. Faculty Assembly meets Thursday, February 7, 2019, from 4:15-5:00 in 152 Shideler.

    2. Provost Callahan reviewed several of the points made by President Crawford at the December Faculty Assembly meeting.  We are in an era of needing to increase strength and competitiveness at Miami.  Miami is facing budget impacts, where expenses are exceeding revenue and revenue sources are fixed (tuition guarantee, state subsidy).  Several important initiatives are underway including: the Strategic Planning Committee; Boldly Creative; and, the Scholarship Development Fund.
    3. A resolution was passed at December Board of Trustees meeting regarding Miami’s Strategic Direction and Budget Plan.  Provost Callahan encouraged senators to review the resolution, which is in the December 14, 2018 Board of Trustees minutes.

Approval of University Senate Minutes

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

Consent Calendar

  1. The following items were received on the Consent Calendar without debate.
    1. Benefits Committee Minutes – November 13, 2018
    2. Curriculum Consent

Old Business

  1. Fiscal Priorities and Budget Planning Committee Report – Stacey Lowery Bretz, Chair

    1. Slide two of the attachment is a comparison between strategic priorities task force report in 2010 and where we are now. Slide three provides the data definitions for the criterion column in slide two. Note that this is a comparison to a historical document during a time in which we operated under a different budget model. Independent studies and internships are included in the data. It was also recognized that the number of undergraduate degrees and majors have gone up.

    2. Fiscal Priorities would like Senate to recognize that the curriculum has only grown larger since the financial challenges spoken to by the Strategic Priorities report in 2010. We must develop processes to reduce the scope of the curriculum in light of the fiscal challenges facing higher education in general and Miami in particular.

    3. The following were issues raised in discussion:

      1. Are winter and summer courses counted in the data?  Summer is included in the data.  A few senators wondered if this affects enrollment in fall and spring.

      2. Senator Bretz confirmed these data are from an analysis of the six divisions. A request was made to have data more readily available.  Senators were asked to send their data requests to Senator Bretz in writing.

      3. A comment was made about RCM driving students to courses. Senator Bretz responded that RCM is a budget model. Students do not make choices based on the budget model. Deans and Faculty make choices about what courses they offer, how many sections, etc.

      4. When asked, Senator Bretz mentioned that the data only included the first declared major for each student. A senator asked that all majors a student declares be counted and not prioritized 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.

      5. A senator asked for clarification of the definition of ‘undergraduate programs’ versus ‘undergraduate majors’. There can be multiple majors in one program. Chemistry was used as an example.

      6. Several senators asked that Independent Study numbers not be included in these data. 

New Business

  1. Senate Start Times - Terri Barr, Chair, Senate Executive Committee

    1. The start time of Senate was changed in 2016 from 3:35 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. due to the change in time blocks.  Forty-four senators responded to the Qualtrics survey developed by Senator Cox to determine if shifting the start time of senate meetings would impact current senators.  The proposed change is from a start time of 3:50 p.m. to a start time of 3:30 p.m., which would go over two teaching time blocks.

    2. Several points regarding the impact of a change in start time were made:

      1. Several ASG members and three senators would have to come late to the meeting. If a senator was going to be consistently late, or need to consistently leave early, seating would be closer to the door possible.

      2. Room 111 Harrison is available several hours both before and after the current scheduled meeting time.

      3. Agenda items requiring a vote will be moved until after 3:50 p.m. when possible. If a quorum (46 members) is called, the vote can be delayed until enough members arrive or the meeting can be ended.

      4. A motion was made to move the start time of the Senate meetings to 3:30 p.m. beginning February 11, 2019.  The motion passed by voice vote with one abstention.


  1. Report by the Chair of the Executive Committee of University Senate, Terri Barr

    1. Senator Barr is chairing the Academic Excellence Sub-Committee of the Strategic Priorities Committee with Renee Baernstein.  The sub-committee is currently meeting twice a week and is looking at curricular processes.  An update from the sub-committee will be given during the March 11, 2019 Senate meeting. There are seven Strategic Planning public listening sessions.  Please check the Strategic Priorities website for more details.

    2. Senate minutes were discussed again at Senate Executive committee.  Verbatim minutes cannot be done.  If a senator wishes to have their statement verbatim in the minutes, they are to submit it in writing to the Recording Secretary no later than noon the day following the meeting.


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

Next scheduled meeting of University Senate:

February 11, 2019, 3:30 p.m.

Room 111 Harrison Hall, Oxford Campus