University Senate - February 8, 2021 Meeting Minutes

Call to Order and Announcements

The University Senate was called to order at 3:30 p.m., via Zoom, on Monday, February 8, 2021. Members absent: Durell Callier and Brandon Small.

  1. Announcements and Remarks by the Chair of Senate Executive Committee, James Bielo.

    1. A reminder was given regarding following Robert’s Rules of Order. A senator can speak once and will not be recognized again until others have spoken.

    2. A question had been asked as to where to find information on curriculum proposals. There are instructions on the agenda and a link to access the CIM system.

Approval of University Senate Minutes

  1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to approve the January 25, 2021, minutes.

Consent Calendar

  1. The following items were received on the Consent calendar:

    1. Curriculum

    2. Campus Planning Committee Meeting Minutes - October 2020

    3. Graduate Council Minutes-December 8, 2020

    4. Liberal Education Council Minutes - January 26, 2021

    5. Governance Committee - January 2021


  1. COVID-19 Vaccine Update – Robin Parker, General Counsel

    1. The goal with today’s update is to provide an early look at vaccination planning on campus. Two vaccines have been approved under Emergency User Authorization (EUA): Pfizer and Moderna. Because they were approved under an EUA, they cannot be required. Both vaccines are two doses. The Johnson and Johnson vaccination, which will be one dose, is pending EUA.

    2. Ohio has prioritized its vaccination differently from the Centers for Disease Control guidelines. Ohio is currently vaccinating people in the 1A and 1B groups. There are three types of vaccination distribution programs (VDC): Community VDC; Host VDC; and, University VDC. Some Universities, such as Ohio State, are set up as a Community VDC in which they are administering vaccinations to the community using Ohio State medical personnel. The University VDC is where vaccines are administered to employees, in similar fashion to the flu vaccine. Additionally, Miami is going to be a host VDC, if the need arises, allowing state and local health departments to administer vaccines to residents.

    3. We currently do not have access to any vaccines. Vaccines are currently only being distributed to hospital networks, pharmacies, and county health departments. However, when the vaccine is generally available to the public, we will begin a phased distribution based on risk and contact. All planning is being done in collaboration with the Interuniversity Council (IUC) and other Ohio four-year institutions (common approach with planning). There will also be an education component to persuade people to become vaccinated to reach herd immunity.

    4. Miami will be partnering with TriHealth, who will be administering vaccines. There is a coordinating committee comprised of a student group and an employee group. Ohio is currently in the last stage of 1B (persons 65+ and K-12 teachers.) We are advocating through the IUC for priority, but so are other groups, such as police. The demand far outweighs the access at this point. There will also be a webpage up very shortly to disseminate updates and to track the vaccination progress on campus.

    5. Miami is working with TriHealth to get employees 65 years or older vaccinated. The advice is if you are 65 or older, or otherwise eligible, get the vaccine as soon as you can wherever you can. There should eventually be more than enough vaccine to vaccinate everyone who wants it.

    6. Senators had the following questions and discussion:

      1. Senator Hahn indicated that there are faculty who qualify as healthcare providers under 1A who work in the Speech and Hearing Clinic. Are there plans to expedite vaccines for this group? Ms. Parker indicated that we have tried to get a group of student nurses vaccinated, but were unsuccessful. She is going to investigate.

 Special Report

  1. Dr. Beena Sukumaran, Dean, College of Engineering and Computing

    1. Dean Sukumaran has been on board since August 1, 2020. She indicated that it’s been a smooth start despite the pandemic and appreciates the Supportive staff and students. The College is gearing up for recruiting the next class, which involves holding admissions events. A charge that Dr. Sukumaran has taken is to have the College be a leader in the number of female students as well as minority students. Discussions on how to reach that point are being held internally and with colleagues at other universities. Currently, 13% of Engineering students are students of color; 20% are women, which is the national average, and 32% are international students. Overall, retention is good with women students; however, graduation rates for students of color are slightly lower. The College is in the process of hiring someone to do outreach events. Summer programs are critical for women and students of color. We have started talking more about the social impact of the profession, which ignites interest in students who may not have previously had any interest. Also, Miami has a very active chapter of Engineers without Borders.

    2. The curriculum has traditionally been siloed, but those silos are breaking down. The recently approved Robotics Engineering major is multi-disciplinary. It is housed in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, but draws from the skills in Computer Science and Software Engineering as well as Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. The other program on the horizon is the Master’s program in Clinical Engineering, which is part of the Boldly Creative initiative. It was proposed by Chemical, Paper and Biomedical Engineering and the need was accelerated by the pandemic. There will be a regulatory component to the program in order to get medical devices approved. There are also new Graduate certificates in the Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering department as well as a certificate in Cybersecurity being created by Computer Science and Software Engineering. The department is also creating a B.A. in Computer Science to open up access.

    3. Senators had the following questions and discussion:

      1. Senator Wu thanked Dean Sukumaran for addressing gender and race in the Engineering field. Regarding gender equality, the percentages are 78% male 22% female. Where is the heart of the discrepancy? Dean Sukumaran replied that women have not been coming. How do we change that? If they do come, they are maintained at a much higher rate than other groups. There are cultural issues, and talking about the social impacts of the profession are important. There is also research that shows that women and underrepresented minorities do not do well on standardized tests. It has been shown that they are biased against women. Moving away from the standardized requirements will help, and more women are applying and being admitted. The number of women in the Chemical, Paper and Biomedical department is growing while the number in the Computer Science and Software Engineering department is declining.

      2. Senator Lalvani indicated that in certain departments, the number of women is almost equal to males. There is a different type of cultural issue. It is how the different disciplines are perceived.

New Business

  1. SR 21-19 – B.S. Commerce, Hospitality Management Major – Ted Light, Chair, Department of Commerce

    1. A background of the B.S. Commerce degree was given. There are six courses in the new major, and there are approximately 35 hours of free electives. The program is available face to face/hybrid or online formats. Hospitality Management is occupationally focused and slated to begin in fall 2021. It is distinct from any other Miami major. According to the Gray Associate data, there are no similar programs within 30 miles and it has a 98% score for the local  area and in the mid-90% state and nationally.

    2. A new faculty member with specific expertise will be hired. There also is opportunity for professional revenue (e.g. workshops and conferences.) Additionally, there are 10 existing transfer agreements with Ohio Community Colleges, six of which have Hospitality Management Associate degrees. We are looking to expand our existing agreements to include the Hospitality Management programs. The Commerce degree is very popular with international students, and in talking with the ELC, it is thought that the Hospitality Management major may also be another popular option. Finally, E-campus (online courses) gives the program opportunity to expand and will be a great option for those not within driving distance. The five new courses were shown.

      1. Senator Wagner expressed concern about degrees that have a lot of adjunct faculty which could change the texture of how our campus works. She asks that the Faculty Welfare Committee be given a charge to think about how these degrees are going to affect our faculty. She is making this as a comment only and will submit a formal motion at another time.

      2. Senator Navakas supports Senator Wagner and feels that there are major staffing considerations to think about.

      3. Senator Coates expressed concern regarding diversity (e.g. diversity of faculty). Students of color get pushed into hospitality areas instead of other areas. What safeguards are going to be in place to prevent this from happening? He is also concerned that we keep on adding more faculty. Where is the line and what does this mean for us? Dr. Light responded that the Commerce department is well represented by minority faculty. The Regional campus is an open admission campus; therefore, no students are turned away. In terms of jobs, students are given the opportunity to have a good career. Dean Bishop-Clark added that the Regional campus is 20% minority and the Commerce degree reflects that. The Commerce degree tends to attract international students; therefore, the student composition of the Commerce department is diverse. When the Regional campus does any hiring, they are always looking for a diverse candidate pool. In terms of the TCPL and hiring, Commerce is a degree that is growing immensely (there are currently 700 majors) and there is catch-up (with demand) going on. There have been additional part-time faculty added; however, some of the part-time faculty are business owners, city managers, CEOs, etc., who add a lot to the curriculum.

      4. Senator Kenworthy had a comment about procedure. At the beginning of the year, it was stated that senators were going to be presented material and then given the opportunity  to consult their constituents before a vote. He noted that the past few meetings have not followed that format. Provost Osborne commented that this has been discussed in Executive Committee, and we are trying to do that where possible, but it's a balancing act, particularly when curriculum has to go to the Board of Trustees, which meets in February.

      5. Senator Wang commented about the decline trend of the international student body. If that trend continues, is that going to affect the success of the Hospitality Management major? Dr. Light answered that 20% of Commerce degree students are international, with 90% from China. Students will be presented this as another choice, so the thought is that the new major will boost international enrollment. Dean Bishop-Clark added that even if we see a decrease in the international market, we have arrangements with community colleges in Ohio with Associate degrees in Hospitality Management, which will give students a good path toward a 4-year degree.

        Senators had the following questions and discussion:

    3. SR 21-19 was approved with 50 Yes; 2 No; 9 Abstentions

SR 21-19

February 8, 2021

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that University Senate endorse the proposed degree, Bachelor of Science in Commerce, with a major in Hospitality Management, College of Liberal Arts and Applied Science.

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.


  1. SR 21-20 – M.S. Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Health – Kyle Timmerman, Graduate Program Director, Department of Kinesiology, Nutrition and Health (Attachment A-III)

    1. This proposal is a result of the partitioning of the Kinesiology and Health Department into two departments: Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Health and Sport Leadership and Management. Because of the partitioning, the Master’s program was split, creating a Master of Science in Sport Leadership and Management (approved on January 25, 2021) and a Master of Science in Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Health.

    2. The M.S. KNH is designed to prepare students for a wide variety of health-related professional programs and career options, including, medicine, nutrition, physical/occupational therapy, nursing, chiropractic, and doctoral programs. There is an exercise and health science track and a public health education and health promotion track. With the realignment of departments, there will be a name change of the degree from M.S. Kinesiology and Health to M.S. Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Health.

    3. The department has 16 full-time faculty and 41 graduate students, including 16 BA/MA students. There are strong, continued enrollment trends. Burning Glass shows a positive growth in the kinesiology, exercise science, nutrition areas. There has recently  been a fully approved Dietetic internship program, Directed by Dr. Sharman Willmore, in which a student pursuing a Registered Dietitian license will go through the requirements of the internship while earning the M.S. KNH. There are currently 6 fee-paying students in the program, and that soon will increase to 12.

    4. The modifications better reflect the composition of the faculty. There is also an expansion of the Core courses to allow students to tailor the curriculum to better suit their interests and increase flexibility. There is an expected increase in enrollment and a greater number of combined BA/MA students.

    5. Senators had the following questions and discussion:

      1. Senator Coates asked if there are any resource implications. Dr. Timmerman responded that no additional faculty or resources are required.

      2. Provost Osborne reminded senators that the M.S. Sport Leadership and Management was discussed and approved at the last meeting, and it is important that both of these degrees go to the Board of Trustees and to the State at the same time.

    6. SR 21-20 was approved with 59 Yes; 2 Abstentions

SR 21-20

February 8, 2021

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that University Senate endorse the proposed degree and major, Master of Science in Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Health, College 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.

Old Business

  1. SR 21-18 - Change in Senate Standing Rules and ByLaws to add a Staff Member to Senate Executive Committee – Joe Carlin – Senate Liaison, Governance Committee

    1. Senator Carlin indicated that the Governance Committee in agreement with the proposed changes. Changes are both to the Standing Rules (Section 3) and the Senate ByLaws (6.B.1.a) and are outlined below.

    2. Senators had the following questions and discussion:

      1. Senator Coates asked about ensuring there was Regional representation on Executive Committee. Senator Carlin answered that this is not part of this resolution, but can be discussed separately.

      2. Senator Wardle this is proposal is important because we are a University Senate. She feels it is a no-brainer and a win for everyone.

    3. SR 21-18 

      was approved with 59 Yes; 2 Abstentions

SR 21-18

January 25, 2021

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that University Senate adopt revisions to Standing Rules, Article III, Section Three as follows:

  1. Election of Executive Committee: Nominations for the two (2) elected faculty members of the Executive Committee may be made from the floor of Senate or in advance of the first fall meeting of Senate on the call from the Chair of University Senate. Members of Senate may nominate themselves or other members of Senate.

  • The elected faculty members of the Executive Committee shall be chosen in two (2) separate elections by secret ballot with provisions for nominations from the floor in advance of each election. Each nominated person shall be invited by the Chair to make a statement of up to three minutes about his or her qualifications and/or desire for the office.

  • The purpose of the first election is to select the chair-elect of the Executive Committee. Faculty members of Senate with at least two years remaining in their term are eligible to be nominated. Upon election, the first year of the two-year term will be as chair-elect and the second year will be as chair of the Executive Committee.

  • Following the first election, a second election shall be conducted to select the at-large seat of the Executive Committee. Faculty members of Senate with one or more years remaining in their term are eligible to be nominated for this one-year term on the Executive Committee.

  • For each of these elections, the nominee must receive a majority vote of the members present.* If there are ten (10) or more nominees and no one receives a majority vote, the top five (5) nominees will be considered on the next ballot. If there are five (5) to nine (9) nominees and no one receives a majority vote, the top three (3) nominees will be considered on the next ballot. If there are fewer than five (5) nominees and no one received a majority vote, the top two (2) nominees will be considered on the next ballot.

  • The staff member of the Executive Committee shall be a member of University Senate and chosen by the staff members of University Senate

  • The undergraduate student member of the Executive Committee shall be the President of the Associated Student Government.

  • The graduate student member of the Executive Committee shall be a member of University Senate and chosen according to the procedures established by the Graduate Student Association.

  • Ballots will be counted by the Secretary of University Senate with assistance from non-Senate persons appointed by the Chair.

    • In the event that spoiled ballots or abstentions prevent the recipient of a majority of the votes cast from obtaining a majority vote of the members present, the Chair may declare the winner of a majority of the votes cast to be the winner, provided that fewer than 10% of the members present abstained or cast spoiled ballots; otherwise, the Chair shall reopen nominations and/or instruct that balloting continue until a single candidate receives a majority vote from the members present.

FURTHERMORE, BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that University Senate adopt revisions to the University Senate ByLaws, 6.B.1.a as follows:

The Executive Committee of University Senate shall be composed of the Provost; four (4) members of Senate elected by Senate, one (1) of whom shall be elected Chair-elect, one (1) of whom shall be Chair (having served as Chair-elect the previous year); and one (1) of whom is the Past Chair of university senate (having served as chair the previous year); one (1) staff member; one (1) undergraduate student who shall be the Student Body President; and one (1) graduate student who is a member of University Senate. The Secretary of University Senate shall serve as an ex officio non-voting member of the Executive Committee.


  1. Amorous Relationships Policy – Final Draft – Senator Liz Wardle

    1.  The revised consensual amorous relationships policy, proposed on behalf of working group (Cathy Wagner, Tim Cameron, Helaine Alessio, and Liz Wardle), was presented. This was began as a group discussion at the January 2020 Senate retreat. Miami already has a sexual harassment policy. The rationale of the policy is to curtail the pursuit of, and engagement in, consensual amorous relationships. If the behavior comes to constitute violence, harassment, stalking, etc., it is covered by the existing sexual harassment policy.

    2. The proposal today came from the working group that was formed in fall 2020 after extensive conversation and feedback. There was also consultation with the deans. The policy is needed because there are power differences that can arise between professors and students that could be exploitive or show favoritism. The MeToo movement has prompted Universities to enact such policies. Examples of issues between faculty and students were given. The proposal is to create a policy to protect students and inform faculty and staff of the risks if they pursue students.

    3. The policy (below) was reviewed.

    4. Senators had the following questions and discussion:

      1. Senator Moser expressed that he is bothered by encroachment that Miami has for activities that occur outside Miami University. This is another area of potential encroachment.

      2. Senator Stuart asked Senator Wardle why staff are being treated differently than faculty. Senator Wardle indicated that the concern about status and power differential seem to be most pronounced with faculty. Senator Stuart added that it seems wrong that staff could have that type of relationship.

      3. Senator Pennington expressed that faculty are concerned about the broadness of the policy and why undergraduate students are treated differently, Why can’t they be collapsed under the same policy? Senator Wardle replied that this topic was talked about extensively, and the feedback from graduate students was to loosen up restrictions.

      4. Senator Stephan asked a clarifying question: ’what of the examples from earlier will not be covered under the existing policy?’ Senator Wardle answered that pursuit of students is currently not prohibited. The examples that were given were to give a national context as to the climate. Many universities are implementing the type of proposal that we are putting forward.

      5. Senator Coates stated that we need to hold faculty and staff accountable for their behavior off-campus as we do students. Would this cover a graduate student who takes a course outside of their major? Senator Wardle quoted the policy by saying: ‘All Miami faculty members are prohibited from pursuing or engaging in amorous relationships with any Miami graduate students who are in their courses, or who are enrolled in programs in the faculty member’s department, or over whom they have supervisory responsibility.’ If there is a pre-existing relationship, it would need to be recorded, and then the student would be able to take a course with that faculty member. Senator Coates asked that that be clarified in the policy.

      6. Senator Wagner indicated that there will be in an Amendment in the Pursuit section regarding use of online dating applications. This will be presented at the February 22, 2021 meeting.

Consensual Amorous Relationships Policy

What is Prohibited

Subject to the limited exceptions outlined here, all Miami faculty members are prohibited from pursuing or engaging in an amorous relationship with any Miami undergraduate students. 

All Miami faculty members are prohibited from pursuing or engaging in amorous relationships with any Miami graduate students who are in their courses, or who are enrolled in programs in the faculty member’s department, or over whom they have supervisory responsibility.

Miami graduate assistants are prohibited from pursuing or engaging in an amorous relationship with any Miami undergraduate student enrolled in their courses or over whom they have other University responsibility or authority, wherein the graduate assistant has the power or authority to alter or influence the conditions of the student’s participation in the University’s educational programs or activities. This specifically includes supervision in a lab or tutoring site.

Staff are prohibited from pursuing or engaging in an amorous relationship with any Miami graduate or undergraduate student over whom they have University supervisory responsibility or authority, wherein the staff member has the power or authority to alter or influence the conditions of the student’s participation in the University’s educational programs or activities. This specifically includes student employment, coaching, athletic training, and advisors to student organizations.

“Pursuit” means seeking a date or romantic relationship, making romantic or sexual comments to a student that a reasonable person would perceive as having intent toward such a relationship, or to seek out an amorous personal relationship.

“Student” refers to persons who have been admitted to the University (beginning at their orientation) and continuing during academic terms for which they are enrolled, and during breaks between academic periods including University holidays and vacations, and during periods of suspension. A person is no longer deemed a student when they have completed their degree program and graduated, are not seeking re-enrollment, or following one semester of having not been enrolled.

Relationships in violation of this policy should not be pursued or engaged in while the student is enrolled or the faculty or staff member is employed by Miami University.

[Note that sexual harassment is covered by a different policy--the Sexual Misconduct Protocol—and is defined as unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex, including gender, gender identity, or expression, or sexual orientation, that is sufficiently severe and pervasive to adversely impact a term or condition of a person’s ability to participate in the University’s educational programs or activities. Sexual harassment includes conduct that unreasonably interferes with a person’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working learning, or living environment.]


Relationships that exist prior to employment or enrollment at Miami will generally be exempted from this policy. This includes Miami employees whose partners enroll in classes at Miami.

Process for Reporting Exceptions and Violations and Enforcing Consequences

Requesting and Reporting Exceptions

Relationships that exist prior to employment or enrollment at Miami should be reported by the employee when employment or enrollment begins and on the required Ethics Questionnaire. When partners of Miami employees enroll in classes, this should be reported via the required Ethics Questionnaire.

If an employee begins a relationship that is allowed by the above policy (for example, a faculty member begins dating a graduate student outside their department over whom they have no supervisory responsibility) or is already in such an allowable relationship, they should report the relationship to their supervisor and the appropriate personnel office to ensure any conflicts in reporting or supervision can be addressed. These relationships, barring any unusual conflicts, will be exempted from this policy.

When existing or developing and allowable relationships are reported, a central purpose of the reporting is to ensure that no immediate conflicts exist or come to exist in teaching or other supervisory roles.

Employees should be aware for their own protection that what appears at the time to be

consensual behavior may later be perceived by one of the parties to be sexual

harassment. Thus, those disclosing pre-existing or allowable amorous relationships should be aware that disclosing a relationship does not change the power differential or protect from future accusations of sexual harassment or misconduct. In the event of a charge of sexual harassment arising from such circumstances, the university will in general be unsympathetic to a defense based upon consent when the facts establish that a faculty-student or staff-student power differential existed within the relationship.

Reporting Potential Violations of the Policy

Anyone seeking to report a violation of this Consensual Amorous Relationship policy may make an anonymous EthicsPoint report, contact Human Resources or Academic Personnel Services, use the OEEO Incident Reporting Form,  and/or contact a supervisor such as the department chair or area supervisor of the person who is believed to have violated the policy.

All reports will initially be reviewed by OEEO to ensure that reported actions do not violate Sexual Misconduct policies. Sexual harassment or sexual misconduct will be handled as the policies and laws governing such violations dictate. If the Sexual Misconduct policies do not apply, the matter will be referred to the employee’s department chair, dean, or supervisor.

Actions that violate this Consensual Amorous Relationship policy will be treated in the first instance as an opportunity for education, following the existing guidelines for disciplinary action for each category of employee, as linked below. Note that for faculty members, chairs are charged with initially advising their faculty regarding policy violations; “If problems identified by the department chair are not resolved following one or more personal meetings, and/or written communications, then the chair may issue a written summary, which will be placed in the faculty member’s personnel file, along with any response from the faculty member.” In combination with the first-line education described above, the policies linked below constitute, in effect, progressive disciplinary procedures intended to curtail the behavior and protect all involved.


  1. The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.