University Senate - September 14, 2020 Meeting Minutes

Call to Order and Announcements

The University Senate was called to order at 3:30 p.m., via WebEx, on Monday, September 14, 2020. Attendance was not taken.

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

    1. Provost Osborne announced that the first day of move-in was today and has gone well. There are testing stations outside of Millett Hall. Parents have been complimentary of the residence hall staff and how smooth the process has been.

    2. The WebEx meeting protocols and norms were explained to senators and guests. Senators were reminded that the chat function is for information and informal communication. The chat should not be used to make motions and information in the chat will not be part of the minutes. Additionally, senators are encouraged to share information with their constituents, and if you receive requests to circulate materials, please do so.

    3. The senate working sessions have had good attendance and notes for the two meetings have been distributed. There are several topics in the pipeline, and we look forward to this being a regular feature. Senator Poetter has developed a Google form for submission of ideas for future topics.

    4. A reminder that senators, who are able, are asked to stay after the meeting today for some additional information and data from the Provost. This will not be an official Senate meeting.

Approval of University Senate Minutes

  1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to approve the August 31, 2020, minutes of University Senate.

Consent Calendar

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

    1. Liberal Education Council - GMP Meeting - August 7, 2020

    2. Liberal Education Council - GMP Meeting - August 21, 2020

    3. Liberal Education Council Meeting Minutes – August 25, 2020

    4. Graduate Council Minutes – May 12, 2020

    5. Curriculum

New Business

  1. SR 21-02 - Real Estate Major – Joel Harper, Chair, Finance

    1. The real estate major proposal was driven by student interest in FIN 331 (Principles of Real Estate) and alumni support. Alumni were surveyed (5,000) to determine what they were doing with their Finance degrees. Over 10% of those surveyed listed real estate as their industry. It was the third highest industry that alumni were involved in. As a result of the alumni survey and student interest, FIN 431 (Real Estate Investments and Finance) was developed.

    2. It was found that are opportunities for Finance students to enter into real estate. There are several local universities that have a real estate major – Ohio State University, Indiana University, and University of Cincinnati. The Gray & Associates data show that potential for a real estate major is strong. Most of the real estate programs are housed in the Finance department.

    3. The proposed major will build upon existing classes, both inside and outside of the Farmer School of Business. There are opportunities in both Geography and Architecture. No additional courses will be needed; however, because of a higher demand for FIN 303, FIN 331, and GEO 441, additional faculty may be needed. It would be done with temporary faculty initially and then changed to permanent faculty if the need remains.

    4. Senators engaged in the following discussion:

      1. Senator Hatch asked for differentiation between the proposed major and getting a Finance degree and then earning a real estate license. Why does this need an academic program? Professor Harper indicated that real estate is the largest asset class investments and for development. It goes beyond buying and selling real estate. This major would allow the graduate to buy and sell as well as management, development for alternative uses, and different ownership structures. Additionally, Senator Hatch asked if urban planning (Architecture) is part of the major. Professor Harper responded that the proposed major has two required Geography courses (Geographic Information Systems and Regional and Urban Planning.) as well as additional courses in urban and regional planning and advanced geographic information systems are both included as electives.

      2. Senator Euen asked about the projected enrollment and revenue. Professor Harper indicated that projected enrollment is expected to be between 50-60 graduates/year. As far as the revenue, three will not be additional costs, and there is hope that it will bring new students to the Business School. Senator Euen added that while there is support for new programs, all new programs come with an administrative cost of start-up and maintenance of the various systems used to support it.

      3. Senator Coates observed that there appears to be a duplication of this type of program in Ohio. The University of Cincinnati has a program; why can’t students go there? Professor Harper stated that Miami’s proposed program is unique from that of other schools because it requires courses from two divisions (e.g. two required Geography courses.)

      4. Senator Bush asked that given the focus of real estate, what strategies have been added regarding diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Are you talking about issues such as home ownership in relation to poverty? Professor Harper stated that strategies are integrated throughout the courses. This past semester, Chelsea Green, who teaches a Property Law class brought in a speaker to talk about the business model of home ownership of rent to own to build equity in the house. There is also a part of a Banking class called community reinvestment.

      5. Senator van Zastrow asked if this was a major separate from Finance or if it was a co-major. No, it is a distinct major from Finance; however some of the same courses are used.

      6. Senator Wardle commented that there were no learning outcomes dealing with anti-racism and that she would like to see some incorporated into the plan. She voiced concern about not having these stated due to the history of decimation against African-Americans in particular. Professor Harper stated that although goals are not listed within the proposed major, it may be more appropriate to have the learning outcomes on the specific courses.

      7. Senator Robinson acknowledged that this presents a unique opportunity to collaborate with other majors outside of Geography, such as Family, Science & Social Work. Expectations need to be set that D, E, & I is part of the major to produce systemic change. Professor Harper agreed that there are opportunities to expand the program across campus by using electives.

      8. It was confirmed that a simple majority was needed to pass the resolution. Senators voted to approve: 35 Yes; 15 No; 2 Abstentions

      9. After the vote it was informally recommended that learning objectives be added to the proposal.

SR 21-02

September 14, 2020

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that University Senate endorse the proposed degree, Bachelor of Science in Business, with a major in Real Estate, Farmer School of Business.

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. FSB TCPL Cap – Tim Greenlee – Sr. Associate Dean, Farmer School of Business (Attachment A-II)

    1. Senate Resolution 20-08, passed in January 2020, set the TCPL cap to 25% in FSB and indicated that ‘divisions must work within the structure of governance processes to modify this limitation.’ The FSB Governance Committee unanimously voted to raise the cap to 40% of the total number of full-time tenure/tenure-track faculty. A friendly amendment was also approved to include Visiting Assistant Professors (VAPs) in the base (denominator.) Subsequently, it has been asked whether TCPLs should also be included. There is a task force, led by Jon Grenier, that is reviewing this proposal. Their first meeting is September 16, 2020.

    2. The rationale for increasing the cap includes four areas. First, FSB’s mission is to provide a premier business educational experience. One of the ways to do so is by providing the First Year Integrated Core (FYIC). Staffing of the FYIC courses is by TCPLs and VAPs. Second, FSB is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB.) The next review is this year. There is a requirement that faculty can be split between academics (research activity) and practitioners (non-scholarly activity.) AACSB leaves it up to each school to find the right mix; however, a school could never have a business school with all practitioners. Third, internal data support that the number of direct admits and second-year admits are increasing. The number of total student credit hours has increased. Lastly, benchmark data from peer institutions was shown. We are the lowest of all of the schools surveyed.

    3. Senators engaged in the following questions and discussion:

      1. Senator Morris asked for clarification on the percentages. If the current percentage is 15%, why is there the need to increase it to 40%? Professor Greenlee confirmed that the percentage is currently 19%; however, with 2021 Fiscal Year search approvals, 2020 hiring plan hold-overs, and FY 2021 hiring plan conversion requests (VAP conversions), that percentage increases to 29%.

      2. Senator Curme made a recommendation that there be a uniform expectation of the denominator. Using the denominator of T/TT only is deceiving. He would recommend including all full-time faculty T/TT, TCPLs and VAPs. Professor Greenlee showed a slide that depicted the TCPL percentages as the denominator values change. This is one of the things that the task force is looking at.

      3. Senator Wagner concurs with Senator Curme and also wants to include part-time faculty. She supports having TCPLs more secure, but noted that TCPLs do not have the same level of academic freedom as a tenure/tenure-track faculty. They can be let go without appeal to a faculty review committee. This is something that should be reviewed. Professor Greenlee indicated that there are currently no part-time faculty in FSB.

      4. Provost Osborne commented that FSB is the first unit to bring such a proposal forward. He noted that the denominator is defined in the Policy Library as ‘the total number of full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty within each division.’ The denominator that is being used for this presentation is full-time T/TT, and is the most conservative value that can be used.

      5. Senator Alessio asked whether the VAP to TCPL was a conversion or a search through OEEO. Professor Greenlee stated that the Policy Library indicates that a TCPL hire can be done either by a search or a conversion. It is ultimately the decision of the Provost as to whether a conversion or a search occurs.

      6. Senator Newman restated that the issue at hand is the denominator. Common sense is that all faculty, as described by Senator Curme, are included, not just T/TT.

      7. Senator Green affirmed that the denominator issue is complicated that deserves more time than what we have today. Converting VAPs to TCPLs also needs further discussion. Will the motion be calculating this as a ratio, similar to what we have done before? Professor Greenlee noted that FSB voted (with the friendly amendment) that the denominator is currently T/TT faculty and VAPs, with the possible consideration to include TCPLs.

      8. Provost Osborne reminded senators that divisions were asked to work within their shared governance structure to make changes. FSB worked with their faculty to come up with a plan. There are other issues being brought forward that are important, but we need to honor the shared governance process. It would be disheartening for Senate not to support this. We can bring back the denominator discussion at another time.

      9. Senator Poetter stated that one of the processes that was started in Senate last year was to take time for education. The past several meetings, the principle has been abandoned. A resolution such as this needs education and discussion before deliberation.

      10. Senator Curme indicated that his position on the denominator was not a reflection of his support for the plan. He fully supports the plan, but wants Senate to agree on a common denominator before we have another discussion such as this.

      11. Senator Poetter indicated that the Faculty Welfare Committee is looking at TCPL issues, so there needs to be an understanding by senators of the policy and the denominator used.

      12. Senators approved that they have received the recommendation and accepted the proposal by a vote of 35 Yes; 10 No; 12 Abstentions

  2. Furlough Plan – ICA – Dr. David Creamer, Sr. V.P. Finance & Business Services

    1. V.P. Creamer provided an update on the furlough plan for Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA). The plan would affect 115 employees and is expected to save $500,000 with the current furlough policy (cap of 20 days.) If the updated policy is approved by the Board of Trustees to allow more flexibility, the savings will be closer to $1M.

    2. The five highest paid employees have already taken a voluntary 10% pay reduction and will have a 20-day furlough. All coaches and unclassified employees making more than $45,000 will have a 20-day furlough with the possibly of another 20 days. Unclassified staff making $45,000 or less and assistant athletic trainers will have a 15-day furlough plus another possible 5 days.

    3. Staff were provided the option to voluntarily start the furlough in September. Otherwise, the implementation will be in October and spread out over 9 months.

    4. Senators engaged in the following discussion and questions:

      1. Senator Moser asked if this will affect competitiveness of men’s and women’s sports for the future. Will there be funds for recruitment and travel? Is there any movement in the MAC to look at a reduced football schedule or to look at winter sports? Dr. Creamer responded that at this time, there is no reconsideration of the cancellation of fall sports. There are still conversations about the timing of winter sports. As we look at the budget deficit, there will be consideration for budget reduction measures to balance the budget.

      2. Senator Wagner asked if there is an option to collect unemployment instead of having the reduction spread out. She also asked about the CARES act funds for reimbursement to Miami for monies used for unemployment benefits, since Miami has chosen to self insure. Dr. Creamer responded that the University hasn’t voluntarily chosen the method that it addresses unemployment compensation. It is a standard method used by state entities in Ohio. The plan of how the furlough is structured is worked out with each employee. There could be a way that the days could be consolidated, allowing the employee to possibly qualify for benefits.

      3. Senator Curme noted that this situation has magnified ICA budget deficits. Are there conversations in the MAC regarding sports deficits? Dr. Creamer responded that based on the framework on how the budget is developed, ICA is not operating in a deficit. There is general fee support that is within the budget framework. The MAC has convened a group to look at budget issues long term and to make decisions on sports operations across the MAC. There will have to be internal conversations about how to deal with the revenue implications for ICA and for other auxiliaries, such as Housing and Dining that have been brought on by the pandemic.

      4. It was recognized that cuts have been taken from the higher paid employees.

      5. Senators approved that they have received the recommendation for how to implement the ICA furloughs and accepted the proposal by a vote of 42 Yes; 5 No; 9 Abstentions

Old Business

  1. Temporary Reduction in Force Policy – Robin Parker, General Counsel

    1. Ms. Parker used the remainder of the meeting to answer questions that have been submitted:

      1. To whom does this policy apply? The policy is for unclassified administrative staff. Faculty and Classified staff already have policies.

      2. Can employees go from a 10 month to a 9 month contract? Yes, but they cannot go under 9 months on a permanent reduction basis, since that is the academic year.

      3. How many days can an employee be RIFed? 180 days Can an employee take 180 days in the last part of a fiscal year and another 180 days in the first part of the next year? Technically, yes; however, it is probably not something that would be done.The benefit of a RIF is that you can keep your health insurance

      4. Can you be reassigned to another position? Yes, we do it now.

      5. Does Senate vote on this? This is for Senate’s advice. There has already been advice from UPAC.

      6. Senator Thesz asked whether a person who is reduced would be paying the employer’s share of the health insurance. No, the employee will pay the employee’s share, and the employer will pay the employer’s share.

      7. Senator Coleman asked if there is a process for staff layoffs? Ms. Parker answered that there is not a process with a layoff policy. Because it’s a severance of employment, OEEO would not be involved. There would be an adverse impact analysis done.

      8. Senator Green asked if Senate is being asked to review this because there is no policy or is something different being proposed. Yes, classified staff and faculty (financial exigency) each have a policy; unclassified staff does not.

      9. Senator Travis asked if the three-year moratorium on the inability to refill a position still apply. No, but if the position ends up being eliminated due to the layoff, the moratorium applies. Senator Travis also acknowledged UPAC for their support of the policy. Is there a reason why it’s 10 day notice? Yes, all other non-faculty positions are 10-days notice.

      10. What is the justification for the 180 days? There was a concern that an employee wouldn’t be able to benefit for the entire 180 days of unemployment benefits due to having to apply for a take a job, even if it’s at a reduced salary. Unemployment is 26 weeks, under normal circumstances.

      11. It was noted that the Senate will also be affirming the recommendations from UPAC.

    2. Senators approved that they have received the recommendation and accepted the proposal with full affirmation of the recommendations from UPAC by a vote of 35 Yes; 8 No; 5 Abstention  


  1. The Regular Session of University Senate was adjourned at 5:07 p.m.

Reconvene and Approval of Abbreviated Minutes

  1. The abbreviated minutes for the September 14, 2020, meeting were approved.