University Senate - September 13, 2021 Meeting Minutes

Call to Order and Announcements

The University Senate was called to order at 3:30 p.m., Remote Access, on Monday, September 13, 2021. Members Absent: Kenya Ash, Rodney Coates, Ruku Pal, Victoria Villanueva, Jakin Wu

  1. Announcements and Remarks by the Chair of Senate Executive Committee, Jennifer Green.

New Business

  1. Vote to be held September 27 on the following items:
    1. TCPL Cap Increase - College of Liberal Arts and Applied Science (CLAAS)
      1. Proposal from CLAAS: Increase the TCPL cap for the College of Liberal Arts andApplied Sciences from 23% to 29%. Rationale: CLAAS applied fields have a high need for TCPLs. The change is not an attempt to decrease the number of tenure track faculty but to allow programs to grow.TCPLs are experts with the most current experience and these positions appeal to later career nurses. A recent program review recommended increasing TCPL hires to meet demand and the need for multiple and flexible hiring options. As with NSG, TCPL hires bring recent applied experience to classroom. A virtual open forum and vote was held on April 8th 2021 following the successful petition process with 57 votes yes, and 15 no.
    2. TCPL Cap Increase - College of Arts and Science (CAS)
      1. Proposal from CAS: Increase the TCPL cap for the College of Arts and Science from 20% to 23%. Rationale: Increase needed to create the new Physicians Associate program, build the permanent faculty who support the Project Dragonfly graduate programs (MA and MATin Biology), and provide flexibility to departments so they can meet their instructional needs with permanent Miami faculty members. The increase was approved by the CASGovernance Committee in April 2021 and unanimously by the CAS faculty at a College meeting on April 26, 2021, and now sent to University Senate for approval.
        • Q: Are TCPL faculty permitted to vote on governance issues? A: Yes.
        • Q: Is it a situation with the numbers that you’re at the cap now, or are you anticipating filling with the increased percentage? A: We are at the cap now, so we can’t hire another TCPL currently. We do not plan on hiring enough to get to the cap immediately.
        • Q: Are TCPL fully enfranchised in the CAS manual operations? A: Yes; anyone who is a member of faculty assembly is a member of CAS faculty.
    3. Proposed Edit to University Promotion and Tenure Committee Composition
      1. Add ‘or their designee’ to the language so that a Dean would have the ability to identify a designee to attend in their place. This edit is supported by all six academic deans.
        • Q: Are the bylaws already modified for the type of change needed? A: Yes. The change we are bringing is to see if we can do it in policy and we will then make any changes necessary.
        • Q: Will there be an established criteria for requests? A: No; deans will be able to identify an appropriate designee.
        • Q: Was any consideration given to the period of time that an assigned designee would serve in the designation? A: Designees would probably serve a full academic year for consistency, and would be re-visited every year.
    4. CTE Report and Recommendations on Protorio
      1. Exploration on whether use of Proctorio and proctoring software was consistent with Miami’s values and goals. This review occurred after Associated Student Government passed a resolution on February 22 requesting an investigation into remote proctoring services.
        • No questions are being taken now, but Senators will able to submit through formstack that will be will shared with the committee and addressed with final recommendations at an upcoming meeting. Senate was reminded that the subcommittee had also been charged to come back to Senate with recommendation resolutions for their consideration. 

Special Reports

  1. New Policy Updates - General Counsel Robin Parker

    1. Flexible Work Arrangements
      1. Policy for unclassified employees put in place over the summer wherein employees can work hours other than university standard hours or work a compressed work week with agreement of supervisor. Can be done on a temporary or permanent basis with agreement between both employee and the supervisor. Second flexible option reduces FTE. Policy also will permit temporary off campus work limited to 20 days per calendar year. This is due to a municipal tax issue where withholdings change if telecommuting exceeds 20 days. If employees go beyond 20 days, there needs to be a formal notice and agreement so that employees are taxed at the correct rate.
      2. Policy also addresses remote work which applies to unclassified staff. This allows for approval of a position for remote work; position needs to be approved to allow for equity across divisions. This policy follows standard requirements found at other universities. Policy is being worked on to include classified staff.
        • Q: If there was an individual working remotely outside of Oxford or Ohio for Miami University could they have applied to get a refund? A: Tax returns filed in April 2021 would not have been eligible for refunds. Under the new bill passed by Ohio General Assembly, refunds are available for calendar year 2021 which you will not file until April 2022.
        • Q: Does remote work count for students? A: Students are not unclassified employees. The policy is only for unclassified employees.
        • Q: Is there going to be a change of policy for classified staff? A: We are looking at how we can design a policy for classified staff.
        • Q: Is this starting this academic year or does it include calendar year 2021? A: The policy is in effect now; it is per calendar year.
    2. Research Scientist Position
      1. Position created for an experienced full time researcher with established experience. Positions are similar to TCPL positions in that it will follow a progression system to eventually reach multiple multi-year contracts in order to attract and retain research scientists.
      2. These positions need to be externally funded, and so will be for grant funded positions.
        • Q: Is this policy covering potential employees that would be paid 100% by an outside grant that works for the University? A: This is not intended to get around equitable compensation, but is intended to create scholars who are entirely focused on research that is externally funded. This will help increase sponsor programs and attract more talent to the university.
        • Q: If we have research scientists funded from the outside, will more research be done by them as opposed to the teacher scholar? Do you think there is potential for erosion of the teacher scholar model here if we are dependent on research scientists? A: These individuals will enhance what we are doing and collaborate with our faculty and increase Carnegie classification through full time FTEs who are devoted to research and external funding.
        • Q: I've seen some institutions where these are faculty and it seems as if the scientists will be in the lab with students; will these researchers be working alongside students and what training will they have? A: These are full-time grant funded positions that are not instructors and not teaching. These positions are not appropriate for faculty.
        • Q: Will there be a process to help those currently in externally funded research positions, temporary unclassified positions such as researchers in the discovery center? A: I did not anticipate this outside sciences and engineering which is what this was designed for, but if we want to broaden the program we will need to discuss that. There was not a belief we would take everyone that was grant funded and move them into these positions.
        • Q: Is this an independent person not working with another faculty member who is being hired in a different area of research? Are we not looking to hire an upper level person just to do research? A: No, that’s why you have to start at the assistant level.
        • Will research scientists and engineers be included in academic freedom? A: Yes, academic freedom attaches to research.

Approval of University Senate Minutes

  1. A motion was received, and seconded for approval of the August 30, 2021 minutes of the University Senate. One Senator raised the issue of some possible amendments. They will be sent electronically and considered at the next meeting.

 Old Business

  1.  No Items of Old Business

Consent Calendar

  1. The  following items were received on the consent calendar:
    1. 9.13.21 Curricular Items
    2. Fiscal Priorities Annual Report
    3. LEC Minutes 5.4.2021

Provost Update

  1. Chair of University Senate, Provost Jason Osborne
    1. Regarding the Fiscal Priorities Report, several recommendations in the report were discussed extensively during executive committee and topics will be invited for discussion in upcoming senate meetings in direct response.
    2. We are in the process of receiving and finalizing applications for faculty enhancement funds to provide extra support and offset the impact of COVID-19 on probationary faculty.
    3. We will be inviting our new vice president for diversity and inclusion to discuss recent conversations concerning required diversity statements in our hiring.
    4. Several new leaders will be invited to Senate to share thoughts as they have availability.
    5. We have been receiving questions about COVID-19 and although we do not address every question received by Senate Executive Committee we do forward those questions to the appropriate group that can respond to them.


  1. Meeting was adjourned