University Senate - March 30, 2020 Meeting Minutes

Call to Order and Announcements

The University Senate was called to order at 3:30 p.m., via WebEx, on Monday, March 30, 2020. Members absent: Cecelia Comerford, Yildirim Dilek, Mandy Euen, Shelby Frye, and Julia Koenig.

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

    1. Senator Cox indicated that in these times, we have to retain a balance and remain nimble. There will be votes today. Visitors were reminded not to vote. If your screen name is not recognizable, please let Becky Sander know. Please make sure microphones are muted.

Approval of University Senate Minutes

  1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to approve the March 16, 2020, minutes of University Senate.

Consent Calendar

  1. The following items were received on the consent calendar. 

    1. Curriculum

    2. Governance Committee Annual Report – 2019-2020

    3. Independent Work Bulletin Revision

    4. Pathways Policy

    5. T/TT Faculty Guideline Revisions – Affordable OER

    6. TCPL Faculty Guideline Revisions – Affordable OER

New Business

  1. COVID-19 and Campus Update – Jason Osborne, Provost
    1. Provost Osborne noted that the Board of Trustees meeting will be modeled after Senate meetings, using WebEx.

    2. Provost Osborne introduced the three new academic deans: Jenny Darroch has been named Dean, Farmer School of Business; Beena Sukumaran has been named Dean, College of Engineering and Computing; and, Michael Crowder has been names Associate Provost and Dean, Graduate School and Interim Vice President of Research and Innovation. At this time, the VPRI search is being stopped due to financial concerns. Thanks for everyone who was involved in the searches.

    3. The Provost Office will be allowing an extra year toward promotion for those faculty who qualify. There is already a policy in place for this.  This applies for TCPL faculty as well who are at the Assistant rank. Provost Osborne noted that when letters go to external reviewers, it will be noted that research, teaching, and service has been disrupted this semester.  The option of automatically giving all faculty one more year is not a viable option because some will not want it.

    4. The option of taking courses Credit/No Credit will be given to students beginning April 1 and will be available through the end of the semester. The date to withdraw from classes has also been extended. All student services are available online.

    5. There has been concern about teaching evaluations and not including them for this semester. Most universities are struggling with this issue.  Faculty will not be held accountable this semester.  Miami is still doing them because it’s valuable feedback, and faculty may be pleased with their evaluations.  Later in the agenda, there will be discussion relating to adding evaluation questions for spring semester.

    6. Provost Osborne asks the help of senators to be a conduit of information. There is a lot of concern and anxiety. For the next year, there are going to be budget cuts and losses from this semester. We need to come together as a community. We can’t undermine the reputation of Miami. It is much easier to deal with a one-time budgetary shortfall than to deal with the implications of missing a class. Miami is reaching out to current and prospective students. We are dealing with a temporary, unprecedented situation which also gives us the opportunity to think about innovation. Miami will still be looking at Boldly Creative projects, but has slowed the progress of the new buildings, but Miami is prepared for any stimulus package that may be funded

    7. Why would we still do athletics, for example? There is no simple answer.  It seems like a simple option, but there are obligations (e.g. to athletes) and other nuances.

    8. Shared governance is still strong and is not going away. The goal is to get to the point of talking about equity and practices and making decisions that reflect our values and are transparent.

    9. A question had been asked about whether there would be an early retirement incentive. At this point, no, because this is generally not a cost savings in the short term.

    10. Miami is not committing to anything on campus or in person until at least the end of June, but in the late summer/early fall, the campus should be back to normal.

    11. Senators had the following questions and comments:

      1. What are the workload expectations for faculty next year and how to make them equitable? The Deans have been given guidance. It will be a 3/3 load or equivalent for T/TT and a 4/4 teaching load for TCPLs. Additionally, there are certain things that are mission critical such as administrative functions.

      2. A student commented that with the graduation celebration being moved to September 11-13, hotels are already booked, or very expensive. Provost Osborne indicated that there will be something on Commencement weekend in May. He will get more guidance.
      3. A question was asked about C/NC courses and whether they will be permitted to count toward the major. The courses that are available for C/NC are broadly defined and include most courses except Honors courses.  Students will be permitted to make this change on Bannerweb beginning April 1, 2020, at noon. They will be able to check on Bannerweb to determine which of their courses are eligible. Students would be able to apply the C/NC course to a major or minor that wouldn’t have ordinarily accepted a course taken with this grade mode. A question was asked if there will be an impact on Federal Financial Aid or Veteran’s benefits. At this time, all restrictions will be waived, and the student can work with OneStop if they have questions on a specific situation.

  2. Academic Program Review – Bill Knight – Assistant Provost for Institutional Research and Effectiveness

    1. Assistant Provost Knight explained the current academic program review (APR) process and commented that it is a good example of shared governance. This is a two-year process that culminates with a visit from internal and external reviewers. Departmental reviews are lead by members of the senate Academic Program Review Committee.

    2. As the APEIP process unfolded, it was recognized that the workload was going to be substantial for those departments also going through the APR process. There are three suggested options: fully participate in both processes; omit the parts of APR that are not part of APEIP; or, do a hybrid approach. Most departments who are slated for program review next year are choosing the second option. Assistant Provost Knight is recommending suspending the requirement for academic program review for 2020-2022, and giving departments options on what they would like to do.

    3. No decision has been made about academic program review, but it will be examined by a committee at a later date as part of the Strategic Plan initiatives.

    4. Senator Cox indicated that this is a decision that Senate does not have to make today.

    5. A question was asked whether departments that chose option 2 had to do APR. It would

    6. include some or none of the traditional pieces that are not overlapping the APEIP process.

    7. A question was asked about what the department does with the review. There’s no follow-up and many departments find these onerous. There have not been any permanent decisions made., but these are questions that will need to be addressed. The committee would look at the process. Today’s issue is more of a short term decision that will need to be made.

    8. The discussion of APR and resolution will be on the agenda for April 6, 2020.

  3. Robotics Engineering Major – Professor Qihou Zhou – Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering

    1. The Robotics Engineering major is a joint effort between Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, and Computer Science and Software Engineering. The home department will be ECE, who will be responsible for the management and assessment.

    2. The program will be funded by Boldly Creative funds and RAPIDS4 funding from the State of Ohio. There are three specialties: Automation, Intelligent Systems, and General Robotics. There will be a total of eight new courses needed for the program.

    3. The resolution was shown and passed unanimously by electronic polling (WebEx).


SR 20-13
March 30, 2020
BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that University Senate endorse the proposed degree, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, with a major in Robotics Engineering.
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 20-13 was unanimously approved by electronic polling.
  1. Family Science Program Elimination – Paul Flaspohler, Associate Professor, Psychology – Process Coordinator 

    1. Professor Flaspohler explained the process of investigating the elimination of the Family Science degree program. The process would require merging curriculum from the Family Science major and the Social Work major and roll them into a new Social Work major. As outlined in Attachment A-III, a SWAT analysis was done to identify strengths and weaknesses of the current program and what it would mean to blend the current content of the Family Science major with the Social Work major.

    2. In addition to the SWAT analysis, interviews with current students and faculty were conducted. It was determined that ending the Family Science major (using a teach-out plan), and merging content with the Social Work major, would be the best course of action. It was determined that strengths outweighed the weaknesses and leadership in FSW was noted as being very strong.

    3. Senators voted to approve forwarding the Process Coordinator’s recommendations to Provost Osborne.

  2. Entrepreneurship Department Creation – Paddy Dowling, Chair Mathematics – Process Coordinator

    1. Professor Dowling outlined the steps involved with determining whether an Entrepreneurship department should be created. Currently, Entrepreneurship is a program and its tenured faculty either have homes in the Marketing or Management department. There are feelings amongst the faculty that they don’t fit in to their assigned home departments. There are also concerns that it is more difficult to hire faculty without an Entrepreneurship department. Prospective faculty and students do not understand the difference between a department and a program.

    2. All faculty in the Entrepreneurship Program and the Marketing and Management departments were interviewed and supportive of the department creation.

    3. The Entrepreneurship program currently has a co-major, minor, three undergraduate certificates, and one graduate certificate.

    4. Senators had the following questions and comments:

      1. Will students need to apply to the Farmer School of Business? No, they won’t be declaring this as a major since it is only a co-major at this point and the degree offerings are not changing.

      2. A comment from Professor Dowling that students were actually concerned that the department was going to be in FSB. It was emphasized that students would not have to do the first-year core courses.

      3. A concern that this was going to impact accreditation.

      4. There are no expected costs to the creation of the department. The Program Director already receives a stipend.

    5. Senators voted to approve forwarding the Process Coordinator’s recommendations to Provost Osborne.

  3. Course Evaluations – Additional Questions - Spring 2020Jeffrey Wanko, Associate Provost

    1. Associate Provost Wanko outlined the proposed additional questions for the spring course evaluations and asked that senators review them with their constituents. They will be discussed further at the April 6, 2020, meeting.

Before the meeting adjourned, Senator Cox thanked everyone for making the meetings successful.  She also indicated that the Old Business that was supposed to be on the agenda for today’s meeting will be elevated at the April 6, 2020, meeting.


  1. The regular meeting of University Senate was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.