University Senate - October 21, 2019 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, October 21, 2019.  Members absent:  Michele Dickey, Antonio Vazquez Lim, Dante Rossi and, Cheryl Young.

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

    1. In keeping with prior meeting formatting, today’s presentation by the Ad-Hoc Committee on Composition Co-Chairs will be the report only.  Senators are asked to gather questions and discussion points from constituents to be addressed at the November 4, 2019, Senate meeting.  Senator Cox indicated that any questions can also be given directly to her.

    2. November 8, 2019, is National First Generation College Student Day.  There will be events on all three campuses:

      1. On October 17 (Middletown) and November 4 (Hamilton), the student organization “Fantastic Firsts” will have a table at the Pop Up Fest.

      2. On November 8, Tech Tattoos (stickers for laptops) will be distributed at the TLC offices, ELC offices, Schwarm Commons, Johnston Hall, and TRIO spaces.

      3. On November 8 (Oxford), the student organization “Miami Firsts” will gather at the Seal (Hub). (Rain location: Armstrong Student Center).  There will also be an Open House at Lewis Place from 4-6pm, sponsored by the President’s Office. Stop by for cookies and punch to celebrate all #FirstGen Miamians!

    3. Deadlines to apply for graduation have changed.  Seniors must apply by November 1, 2019.  May 1, 2020 is the deadline for December 2020 graduation.  Senator Euen (University Registrar) stated that the reason behind the change is to allow advising units more time to appropriately reach out to students who have applied for graduation, but have not met requirements.  She indicated that no student would be denied the right to apply for graduation should they miss the deadline.

    4. There has been progress on the Kinesiology and Health/Sports Leadership and Management partition.

      1. John Bailer accepted the Provost's invitation to serve as the Process Coordinator. He has been provided the proposal that KNH had sent to the Provost.

      2. KNH faculty plan to meet with the Coordinator in October and November and then report back to the Senate at the November 18 meeting.

    5. The Academic Policy Committee (APC) has developed a webpage regarding policies.  Information includes how to contact the Committee with an idea about policy and a listing of what policies are currently being considered.  APC does not handle all policies, but this website is a step toward transparency.  A question was asked that If there are multiple policy generating bodies, where does one go to find the policies?  There currently is not a repository for policies in process.

Approval of University Senate Minutes

  1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to approve the October 7, 2019, minutes of University Senate.

Consent Calendar

  1. The following items were received on the Consent Calendar without debate: 

    1. Curriculum

  1. Ad Hoc Committee on Composition – Report – Kate de Medeiros and Jen Green, Co-Chairs

    1. Senators were reminded that there is not going to be Q&A or discussion after the presentation and that it will be done at the November 4, 2019, meeting. Senators were asked to use this two week time period to help generate a productive discussion with their constituents.  The Ad-Hoc Committee was formed as a result of SR 18-12, passed in spring 2018 to look at faculty composition to see if the composition aligned with the needs of the University.  The first meeting was held in November 2018 and began looking at data of all full-time faculty at Miami, which also included Visiting Professors.

    2. The main premise is that all faculty types are significant to the functioning of the University and the mission of undergraduate education. The data points are from several different sources and are not absolute.  The Committee conducted focus group interviews, individual interviews, and interviews with department chairs.  Within the data, there was a qualitative portion and analysis.

    3. A campus-wide survey wide survey was conducted and yielded a 29% response rate. It was felt that the results were a good representation of all types of faculty and showed an appreciation for an engaged and effective teacher/scholar model.  It also demonstrated that faculty are open to change in how they think of faculty composition.

    4. Benchmarking data was disappointing. The Committee found that non-tenure track faculty at other similar institutions lumped together what Miami would classifies as TCPL and Visiting (continuing and non-continuing).  The Committee also found that few institutions have limitations on faculty types.

    5. Senator Green and Professor de Medeiros provided an overview of recommendations:
      1. Recommendation 1: Temporary faculty should only be used to fill last minute or temporary needs - permanent needs should be filled with permanent faculty.  A department should systematically explore whether a T/TT or TCPL line would be the best fit for a vacancy.  Additionally, recognizing that we have many outstanding VAPS, there should be a formal process to hire them rather than to exceed or extend the five-year time limit.  Chairs can assist by engaging in better planning for teaching schedules.

      2. Recommendation 2: Develop guidelines for increasing the rigor of the hiring process for TCPL. It is thought that a more formal process will yield candidates with a better fit than hiring someone at the last minute.  The process would be similar to the Tenure/Tenure Track process and would include more formal review of the candidate, including group and individual interviews with current faculty.

      3. Recommendation 3: Create a more inclusive, equitable and supportive environment for TCPL faculty.  The Committee determined that there was much diversity across departments regarding the support and inclusion of TCPL faculty.  There is frustration regarding pay gap and the promotion process, although a lot of work has recently been done to make this more equitable.  There is a possibility of allowing time spent as a VAP count toward the first TCPL promotion point.

      4. Recommendation 4: Replace one shared cap with guidelines created by divisions.  The rationale is that the ratio should be based all faculty, rather than a ratio of TCPL to T/TT.  If a division cap for TCPL is implanted, then there should be a cap on VAPs.  The Committee felt strongly that there need to be guidelines to prevent T/TT lines from being replaced with TCPL entirely to maintain the integrity of the teacher/scholar model.  It is felt that guidelines will help.  There needs to be transparency from administration regarding decisions about allocation of faculty lines.  The rationale for having more flexibility with the cap is that it currently is not sensitive to needs of certain programs that have needs based on accreditation agencies. 

      5. Recommendation 5:  Create a more inclusive and supportive environment for VAPs.  This includes developing safeguards to avoid exploitation of VAPs, and as mentioned earlier, allowing years spent in a VAP position count toward the first TCPL promotion point.  Visiting faculty also do not have access to resources that would help them become better teachers such as the Lily conference.

New Business

  1. SR 20-04 – Committees created during Strategic Planning implementation process – Dana Cox – Chair, Senate Executive Committee

    1. Senator Cox introduced Senators Poetter and Pohlhaus, authors of the proposed resolution.  The proposed resolution was inspired by the September 23, 2019, Senate meeting where there was a robust and deep sense of shared governance, which is enforced by Senate Executive Committee.  Implementation will be the most important step of the Strategic Plan, and it will be important for Senate to have two representatives on any newly formed or repurposed Committee.  Senate Executive Committee has expressed that it may be difficult to have two senators per committee, depending on the number of committees, but hopefully, not all will have to be staffed at once.  The importance of having senators voted on by faculty was stressed as there need to be support from ground up, not from top down.  The elections would be just for those committees that are newly formed.

    2. Senators engaged in a discussion resulting in the following comments and questions:

      1. Is representation open to just faculty, or any senator? It was thought that it would be open for any senator.

      2. What would be the mechanism for reporting to Senate? The Senate representative(s) would contact Senate Executive Committee to determine if they would give a report to Senate. 

      3. Would committees be Senate committees? They could be repurposed Senate committees or outside committees with Senate representation.

      4. Senator Cox has tasked Governance Committee with reviewing Senate committees and making recommendations for any changes.

      5. There was concern expressed regarding implementation of the Strategic Plan and that people are unhappy because there was no input during the process. Senators were reminded that there were 30 listening sessions across campus.

      6. Why are two senators being recommended? “Two is better than one.”  There was concern that with 13 new committees, it was going to be difficult to fill 26 positions.  It was noted that while 13 was the number based on the Strategic Plan presentations, this would be the upper limit.  We are moving forward on all of the recommendations in one form of the other. 

      7. Is this just focused on committees where Senate has purview? This point needs to be clarified.

      8. A question was raised regarding the phrase in the resolution ‘share their expertise’. There are a few committees, e.g. Benefits Committee and Awards and Recognition Committee, where the positions are filled with faculty with certain expertise.  This lead to a more general discussion about how senators are placed on committees.  It was also noted that committees do have the ability to create an ad-hoc committee.

      9. Senators Poetter and Pohlhaus are going to revise the resolution based on today’s suggestions and comments.  It will be presented at the November 4, 2019, meeting.


  1. Provost Updates – Jason Osborne, Provost

    1. In lieu of the Provost Update, Carolyn Haynes, Associate Provost, provided information regarding the upcoming curriculum review. This is one of the 30 Strategic Plan recommendations, and there is a one-year timeframe.  To expedite the process, Miami has contracted with two external agencies, Gray Associates and Hanover Research.  The balance will be making critical decisions while maintaining the balance of shared governance.  The ultimate decision is with the President, Provost and Board of Trustees.

    2. This is a complicated recommendation, and we have to be certain that the correct people are at the table and that the committee is not too large. It was stressed multiple times that neither agency, Gray Associates or Hanover Research, makes decisions.  They provide data so that divisions and departments can make informed decisions.  Gray’s data look at the demand in market (geomarket definitions), while Hanover’s expertise provides an in-depth feasibility study of new programs.

    3. It is being proposed that six Senate members be elected to the Steering Committee to ensure that Senate will have perspective to make choices. The Steering Committee will meet during a two-day workshop and will offer input on data as well as develop guidelines to be used for divisions and departments to use in curricular plans.  Guides will includes strategies, data and goals.  The group will also make policy recommendations as necessary.  Curricular plan will be submitted by Oct 2020.  A one-size fits all approach will not be used, and it was stressed that this will not be ‘top down.’

    4. Senators engaged in a discussion resulting in the following comments and questions:

      1. The two-day workshop will occur November 19-20, 2019 and will occur after Gray Associates collects the data. The workshop will address how to understand the data.

      2. Have the six senators been selected? No, this is just being proposed and discussed.

      3. The data look at student inquiries and trends (benchmarking), it does not look at program content. There was concern expressed that there needs to be transparency with the process because this creates anxiety.  It was stated that there are majors that don’t directly result in a job after Miami, but it provides necessary background.

      4. It was noted that many of the senators are in their last term, so this should be a factor in the selection process. Much of the work will be done during the November workshop, and then the process is turned over to the departments.

      5. Gray Associates gives a 30,000 foot view, and helps to guide the process, but the decisions are made in the departments. Gray reports are generated for all majors and degrees. 

      6. There will be a Miami Plan revision, and for this reason, the Office of Liberal Education will not have a representative on the Steering Committee. There will be constant communication between the two groups.

      7. There are processes to talk to Graduate programs, and the guidelines developed during the workshop will help with planning and discussions. Graduate programs need to generate revenue.  It was recommended that a graduate student be added to the steering committee.

      8. How long do the feasibility studies by Hanover take? They take 4-6 weeks.  We can do two at a time and will need to prioritize.  If there is more demand, we can purchase more queues.  The steering committee will help with the ‘pipeline’.

      9. What level of data are going to be generated? The data does not go into course level.  It examines enrollment level and trends.

      10. A comment was made that this is not a curriculum audit.  Associate Provost Haynes stated that is more of the purview of academic program review.

  2. Executive Committee Update - Dana Cox, Chair, Senate Executive Committee

    1. Executive Committee gave new charges to the Governance Committee, including changes in Executive Committee structure to allow for longer terms and more stability.

    2. Tom Poetter and Gail Pohlhaus discussed SR 20-04 with Executive Committee on October 14, 2019.

    3. Executive Committee is still accepting nominations for the Ad-Hoc Committee on Arrest Reporting.

    4. Bill Knight, from the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, is addressing Executive Committee on October 28, 2019.

    5. For the November 4, 2019, meeting:

      1. There will be further discussion of the Ad-Hoc Committee’s recommendations.

      2. Four policy revisions approved by the Academic Policy Committee will be on the consent calendar.

      3. There will be two new majors for consideration.

      For future meetings:

      1. Further discussion regarding the TCPL Grandfather Clause.

      2. New discussion about changes made to the hiring policy for TCPL faculty on July 1, 2019.


  1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to adjourn the Regular Session of University Senate.  The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Next scheduled meeting of University Senate:

November 4, 2019, 3:30 p.m.

Room 111 Harrison Hall, Oxford Campus