University Senate - February 10, 2020 Meeting Minutes

Call to Order and Announcements

The University Senate was called to order at 3:30 p.m., in Room 111 Harrison Hall, Oxford Campus, on Monday, February 10, 2020.  Members absent: Helaine Alessio, Dan Bosworth, Shelby Frye, Tracy Haynes, Tom Poetter, and Harvey Thurmer.

  1. Announcements and Remarks by the Chair of Senate Executive Committee, Dana Cox.

    1. Senator Robinson announced that the weekend of February 15, 2020, is One Miami Weekend. Cancer fighters and survivors are invited to register as VIP guests for the Miami women’s basketball game and to attend a pre-game reception with their family and friends.

A senator asked if announcements could be made by senators during the meeting.  Senator Cox asked that any announcements be given to her or Becky Sander prior to the meeting.

Approval of University Senate Minutes

  1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to approve the January 27, 2020, minutes of University Senate.

Consent Calendar

Senator Lowery Bretz suggested and it was approved to move the receipt of the Consent Calendar until after the presentation and discussion of the new Primary Education Major since there are several new courses on the list.

New Business

  1. Formation of an Entrepreneurship Department – Tim Holcomb, Director ESP

    1. The proposal is to convert Entrepreneurship from a program to a department within the Farmer School of Business. The undergraduate major in ESP was approved in 2017. It originated as a track within the Interdisciplinary Business Management major. Recently, there have been four Entrepreneurship Certificates approved:

      • a graduate Certificate in Gerontology and Entrepreneurship;

      • an undergraduate Certificate in Startup Entrepreneurship;

      • an undergraduate Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship; and,

      • an undergraduate Certificate in Creativity Entrepreneurship.

    There has been a surge in the demand for ESP courses - a 500% increase in credit hours, a 400% increase in students, with students from 116 undergraduate majors represented.

    1. The current program has 14 faculty (4 T/TT, 5 TCPL (including 1 75/25), five VAPs and four staff (three unclassified and one classified). There are six endowed Chairs and Professorships. The T/TT and TCPL faculty are assigned to either Management or Marketing, which presents challenges relative to hiring and recruiting.

    2. The Entrepreneurship Program is ranked #11 overall undergraduate program and #5 among public universities by Princeton Review. It is also #15 for Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Studies by U.S. News & World Report.

    3. Senators engaged in discussion and the following questions and comments were made:

      1. Do faculty have to teach halftime in their home department? No, faculty are contributing to the program full time. No additional costs are foreseen.

      2. What are the space needs? No new space needs are foreseen.

      3. Are Entrepreneurship majors directly admitted into the Farmer School of Business? No, the major is interdisciplinary and is not an FSB major.  The students do not have to take the FSB Core.

  1. SR 20-09 – Primary Education Major, B.S. Education – Sheri Leafgren – Associate Professor, Teacher Education

    1. The State of Ohio has changed the licensure requirements to now include PK-5, instead of PK-3, and has passed Senate Bill 216. One reason for the change was that some students could not get a license in other states. With this change, the Department of Teacher Education is teaching out the Early Childhood Education major and will begin the new Primary PK-5 major in fall 2020. The license will be a generalist licensure. The final Early Childhood Education students will be phased out by 2024, and some students will be permitted to change their catalog year/term.

    2. The Middle Childhood Education major will remain the same.

    3. It was asked whether there is going to be a certificate to add 6th grade? Not at this time.

    4. SR 20-09 was unanimously approved.

SR 20-09

February 10, 2020

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that University Senate endorse the proposed degree, Bachelor of Science in Education, with a major in Primary Education, School of Education, Health and Society;

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 20-09 was unanimously approved.

Consent Calendar

  1. The following items were received on the Consent Calendar.

    1. Curriculum

    2. Graduate Council Minutes – December 10, 2019


  1. Provost Q & A – Jason Osborne, Provost

    1. The Question and Answer session is an experiment to help improve communication. Some questions are important, but cannot be answered today.  They are things we have been talking about but are more of a community effort.

    2. Concern about layoffs. Higher education is in an uncertain environment.  It was thought that the 2020 class was strong. Unless that changes, Miami should be OK for several years to come. The cuts are operational in nature. No faculty are being eliminated. Academic Affairs is done with job cuts.   There will be 24.3 Million in savings by FY 2024.

    3. Has there been discussion regarding early retirement? Early retirement is fraught with complexities. There has never been an option for faculty only.  General Counsel has agreed that if a unit wanted to offer this, it may be workable.

    4. Concern about offsetting workload. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Provost reminded Senate that faculty numbers continue to grow and are almost at the level before the recession. Faculty are not being cut.  Non-renewals would be due to poor performance, declining enrollment, etc.  Reallocation is based on need.  Units need to keep being challenged to make the best decisions they can make with the fixed resources that are available.  There are costs and tradeoffs for having different types of faculty.  Not all openings can be replaced with T/TT positions. Some divisions have seen a bigger loss of T/TT faculty than others. There are a significantly larger number of students than we did in 2008.  Less tuition dollars per student.

    5. How can Senate encourage effective shared governance? This will be discussed in part today.  The divisional shared governance structures may not be as robust as originally thought.  Senate can help mentor units.

    6. Ad hoc Committee on Faculty Composition Recommendations - why aren’t we focusing on all five recommendations, instead of just the one? The Provost challenges the assumption that nothing has been done regarding the other four recommendations.  Recommendation One (permanent faculty needs) has been addressed when Recommendation Four (TCPL percentage) was addressed.  Permanent needs should be handled by permanent faculty. Recommendation Two (develop guidelines to increase rigor of hiring process) will be addressed later this semester. Recommendations Three (create a more inclusive, equitable and supportive environment for TCPL faculty) and Five (create a more inclusive and supportive environment for VAPS) need a more robust discussion. 

    7. Climate questions: Climate and equity discussions will include VAPs and adjuncts.  Miami’s faculty is very diverse.  The Faculty Welfare Committee is charged with looking at faculty composition and working conditions, alongside budget. They will come to Senate.  These are issues that can also be addressed at the local level.

    8. Retire/rehire Policy applies to everyone, not just Tenure/Tenure Track faculty.

    9. Credentials Question - Highest Degree from Miami: There is concern that Miami is losing qualified TCPLs due to this policy.  The Provost agrees that this needs to be addressed by Senate, and we need to look at peer institutions.  There is a clause regarding extraordinary situations that can be used to hire a TCPL with a Miami degree. The question becomes, how does Miami balance the need for diversity of thought with keeping people who are good?

    10. How do we bring concerns forward? Questions can go to certain sub-committees, including Executive Committee.  A person can address Senate using a two-minute speaking slot before the beginning of the meeting. 

    11. What is the role of the Chair? This year’s format is an experiment as to how Senate can be run, but it can be changed. How did this work compared to previous years, and how do we want to move forward? 

    12. Is this Q&A useful? Senators affirmed Yes. It was asked if it can be done once a semester.

  2. Divisional Governance Breakout sessions

    1. Before dispersing for the sessions, a comment was made by Senator Thesz that having more breakout sessions would be useful. It was useful during the January retreat and it helps to ensure that a variety of student, faculty and staff voices are heard.


  1. The regular session of University Senate was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.

Reconvene and Approval of Abbreviated Minutes

  1. The additional session of University Senate was convened and the Abbreviated Minutes approved. (Attachment A-III)


  1. The additional session of University Senate was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.