University Senate - April 3, 2023 Minutes

Meeting Minutes
April 03, 2023

The University Senate was called to order at 3:30 p.m., in 111 Harrison Hall on Monday, April 03, 2023. Members absent: Jackson Abram, Kenya Ash, Steve Bailey, Durrell Callier, Riley Crabtree, Eli Davies, Steven Elliott, Tyler Eyster, Dawn Fahner, Chip Hahn, Kennedy Hughes, Martin Johnson, Yong Lin, Kevin Messner, William Moser, Eric Rapos, Taylor Stambaugh, Danelle Stein, Cameron Tiefentholer, Troy Travis, Medhi Zanjani

Executive Session

  1. Call to Order and Announcements and Remarks – Tom Poetter, Chair of University Senate Executive Committee
    1. We will need to add April 24 to the Senate schedule.
    2. I am happy to send you a copy of Senate Bill 83 if you’d like. Working to take action is important. I hope that action can be taken.
  2. Approval of University Senate Minutes
    1. University Senate Full Meeting Minutes.03.27.2023  (46- Yes, 0-No, 0-Abstain)
      1. Two friendly amendments were suggested and accepted:
        1. Amendment: SB 83 on page 8. Randi. Pg 10 of document. (SP803)
        2. Amendment: Co-op instead of internship (p3 of minutes, p5 of document.)
  3. Consent Calendar: The following items were received and accepted on the Consent Calendar
    1. Curricular Items _03.29.2023 
    2. Graduate Meeting Minutes_03.28.2023 
    3. DPIP Meeting Minutes_09.13.2022 
    4. DPIP Meeting Minutes_11.03.2022 
    5. DPIP Meeting Minutes_01.24.2023
    6. FSGC Meeting Minutes_09.30.2022 
  4. Old Business
    1. SR 23- 11 Graduate Student Organization Policy Proposal, Michael Crowder, Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School. Presentation only; Discussion and Anticipated Vote on April 03, 2023  (46-Yes, 0-No, 0-Abstain, 0-Senator came in after vote)
    2. SR 23-12 Support for Research Travel and Teaching Policy Revision Proposal, Michael Crowder, Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School. Discussion and Anticipated Vote on April 03, 2023  (44- Yes, 0-No, 2-Abstain, 0-Senator came in after vote)
    3. SR 23-13 Course Repeat Policy, Carolyn Haynes, Senior Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives. Discussion and Anticipated Vote on April 03, 2023  (45- Yes, 0-No, 1-Abstain, 0-Senator came in after vote)
    4. SR 23-14 Co-operative Policy Proposal, Carolyn Haynes, Senior Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives. Presentation only; Discussion and Anticipated Vote on April 03, 2023  (44- Yes, 0-No, 2-Abstain, 0-Senator came in after vote)
  5. New Business
    1. Changes to Tenure Track and Promotion and Tenure Policy, Liz Mullenix, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Presentation only; Discussion and Anticipated Vote on April 10, 2023
      1. UPT is made up of the six academic deans (or their proxies) and one faculty representative from each.
      2. This came up last year and did not pass. Again, we are proposing a recommended time in rank for the second promotion point (not mandatory). Because UPT looks at cumulative work, it’s hard to see a difference in teaching, for example, in just a few years post-tenure. 
      3. We are also recommending a formative review. It’s a good idea to get that feedback from your colleagues and your chair.
      4. Change 1: Clean up unnecessary language.
        1. …be engaged at least 50% of his or her appointment in regular teaching assignments or research, or that the person be a full-time member of the faculty.
      5. Change 2: Add Transparency to the process of promotion to Full Professor.
        1. No minimum time in rank is required for promotion to Professor. However, it is typically expected that it will take a minimum of five years after promotion to Associate Professor to meet the criteria for consideration for promotion to Full Professor. Candidates are encouraged to engage in a formative evaluation with Full Professors in the departmental voting faculty prior to seeking promotion to Full Professor. Candidates with exceptional records who meet the criteria for consideration and who have the support of the relevant departmental voting faculty may undergo review prior to five years. If promotion to Full is denied, the faculty member must wait at least one full academic year between receiving the denial and submitting materials again for consideration.
      6. Senate Senator Questions and Comments:
        1. Senator: This body recently required TCPL faculty members to serve a minimum of three years prior to the second promotion point. 
        2. Senator: A question was asked about the 50% clause? (A) someone who is coming up for full might not have the same teaching load as someone prior to tenure and might be serving in an administrative role. 
        3. Senator: What you said did not address what we brought up last year. “If you have the support…” was talked about a lot. You might not have support of all relevant voting faculty because of bias. It’s a good idea to go up for a formative review, but not every person needs to be behind you. Also, we don’t want to limit people or lose talented faculty if they can’t go up earlier. Can we state that you go up for a cumulative record?
        4. Senator: Can this be revised? (A) Yes.
        5. Senator: Once you put policy language out there it can be hard to predict what happens. Promotion is daunting and exhausting and crazy. I don’t like the idea of codifying the five years. There are already so many barriers and there are more barriers for some people. I don't like the idea of putting any recommended barriers, but “you can’t go up next year” is more palatable. (A) The research I’ve seen in terms of equity, time in rank is less of a big deal than clear metrics for success which should be part of a local governance document and mentorship. Time in rank is less the issue and clarity and mentoring is more important.
        6. Senator: I would like to recommend a tweak. The first one is in the first sentence. What if it said “However, it’s typically in order to generate the cumulative record that will make a strong case, it will typically take multiple years.” I also agree with Liz’ friendly amendment about the voting faculty. Candidates with exceptional records…prior to five years. May is a weird word. Can we change this to should consider? (A) Email Liz with any suggested changes.
        7. Senator: Implicitly because of the last sentence, there is a one-year waiting period. We don’t have to be specific about the five years. Perhaps “encouraged but not required”. (A) I understand your point, but the intention was meant to be your P/T committee.
        8. Senator: Is this even needed? The Policy Library states that qualifications for full is a cumulative record. Then, they said “including recent work since promotion”. That shows that you can’t go up with what you had before. You have to have more. Have people gone up after only a few years? (A) we continue to have this issue.
        9. Senator: I left a lot implicit that I’m making explicit now. We just put this hurdle in front of TCPLs, and are now talking about taking it out of the path for TT. If we don’t add this to TT, let’s take that barrier away from TCPLs.
    2. Midterm Policy, Ad-hoc Committee Policy, Amy Bergerson, Associate Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education Presentation only; Discussion and Anticipated Vote on April 10, 2023
      1. We need more meaningful time to make interventions with students to improve student success. That is still very important and I’m here to ask you to officially make that change.
      2. We talked about changing the title from Midterm Grade to Progress Report in response to the discussion we had the last time I was here. 
      3. This policy proposes to move the date from week 8 to week 7.
      4. To offer further support for the change, Rinella reports that by the beginning of the seventh week they have given 80% of the midterm examinations that they are going to give. People are already giving these before the seventh week.
      5. This shift also feeds into the idea (also shared in Senate) of having more, lower-stakes assessments. Encouraging people to build those into courses in a natural way is a good thing.
      6. Senate Senator Questions and Comments:
        1. Senator: What does a progress report entail? (A) It’s a name change to make it clear that it’s a check-in and not a promise of an assigned grade.
        2. Senator: Do the students see this progress report? (A) Yes. Students go into Banner. They are sent a message about the midterm availability in the system and encouraged to talk with their faculty members.
        3. Senator: So we post twice? (A) No. This replaces the midterm grade. 
        4. Senator: When is spring break? (A) 8th week. That’s where we run into the problem of students being on break just as midterms are submitted.
        5. Senator: Moving the deadline puts some of us under a crunch. Half my students would be failing if I gave the grade prior to the midterm, but the midterm reflects growth.(A) This is us asking you to do that prior to the 7th week. We don’t have enough time to get them into a sprint course if we wait.
        6. Senator: Following up on the earlier question, this proposed change means we are doing the same thing. Grade/progress report. It’s just one thing with a new name. (A) Yes. Currently midterms are due right before Spring Break.
        7. Senator: Green Beer Day means we should be scheduling assignments and exams prior to spring break, but if we push that earlier we can’t. (A) Faculty can still have meaningful assignments even if they come after midterms are due.
        8. Senator: I would add quickly that this should have changed with the change in the academic calendar in 2017, but for whatever reason it didn’t and it really should have. When our semester went from 15 weeks to 14, we never updated it.
        9. Senator: Can it be due at the beginning of the 8th week? (A) That doesn’t help us.
        10. Senator: Is there overlap between this and the early alert? (A) There is crossover but they aren’t completely the same. We can catch them if we expand the early alert.
        11. Senator: I’m finding issues with my juniors and seniors who aren’t caught in this. (A) yes! I’d love to have you on the ad hoc committee.
        12. Senator: Is there a technological solution? I bet Chat GPT4 could figure this out. I believe that this report should be an “up until now” representation of your performance. (A) I hope that we will have some improvement with the new technology. I hope that we have better data and automation. This isn’t entirely a tech problem.
      7. Ad-Hoc Committee Proposal. 
        1. The Miami University Senate Executive Committee supports the establishment of an ad hoc committee to explore the University’s approaches to academic progress for students. The committee’s charge will be to examine the University’s approach to attendance, early alerts, mid-term progress reports and other student success related policies and bring back to the Senate information regarding best practices and recommendations for future efforts to support students’ academic progress.
        2. The ad hoc Committee will investigate the following questions: 
          1. How can we help support students’ academic progress? 
          2. How can midterm progress reports and early reporting processes (e.g., early alert) work together better? 
          3. What is the role of professional and faculty advisors in these processes? 
          4. How can we improve communication and direction for faculty members and connect classrooms more closely with student success supports and professional advising?  
          5. Can we establish a training curriculum and schedule regarding the early alert process through midterm progress reporting that can be shared widely with faculty and advisors and other critical staff?  
          6. What best practices exist in peer university settings for identifying students who are at-risk for not making progress?  
        3. The ad hoc committee will also explore the current attendance policy, with particular attention to the drop portion of the policy explicated below:
          1. A department may, at its discretion, drop from a course any student who is absent from the first class meeting of a semester, term or sprint part of semester or term unless by the end of the day (11:59 p.m.) of the first class meeting the student notifies the department or instructor of his or her intention to take the course. When possible, departments and instructors should reinstate a student who, for reasons beyond his or her control, was unable to contact the department or instructor by this deadline. The determination of individual class attendance requirements and their enforcement at the Dolibois European Center is governed by the attendance policy of the Center.
          2. The ad hoc committee on midterm progress will be constituted by the University Senate by the end of academic year 2022-2023 and serve during the academic year 2023-2024.  The committee will share a report of its findings and recommendations with University Senate by early spring 2024 and if necessary, shepherd with the university senate during spring 2024 new or revised policy to support future work among faculty, staff, and students on academic progress. The ad hoc committee will be comprised of 10 members: 2 co-chairs (Amy Bergerson and Amanda Euen); 2 senators elected by University Senate during Spring semester 2023; 2 faculty members; 2 professional advisors; 1 member of the student success committee; and 1 undergraduate student senator elected by ASG. The 7 members appointed by University Senate will be chosen collaboratively by the Senate Executive Committee and the ad hoc committee co-chairs.
      8. Senate Senator Questions and Comments:
        1. Senator: Can I recommend that someone from IT be on the committee? (A) Sure. 
        2. Sarah Persinger said that she’s on the Workday transition team and is taking notes. 
        3. Senator: Is it possible to move Spring Break forward one week? (A) I’m not the decision maker on that.
        4. Senator: There’s been a tension between academic advisors and generic advisors. Can we find a way to clarify those roles? (A) Ok. When you’re referring to generic advisors, you’re referring to the divisional advisors? 
        5. Senator: To Workday: Can the faculty member indicate not making progress toward the grade? If you look at a certain class, there’s a difference between C- and F. Second, A representative from student counseling/mental health would be good to have. (A) Ok.
    3. Sense of the Senate: Ohio Senate Bill 83, Rosemary Pennington, Associate Professor and Area Coordinator of Journalism Presentation only; Discussion and Anticipated Vote on April 10, 2023
      1. This bill is a full scale assault on all aspects of higher education – from core missions and values to curricula to staffing and workload.
        1. Bill would make it illegal to require a DEI related course at a private or public university
        2. Force universities to use boilerplate language in their mission statements
        3. Make it illegal to create mandated DEI related training programs, brings back in problematic language around so-called controversial matters from the anti-CRT bills, 
        4. will make illegal any sort of mandated diversity rubrics in gen ed courses
        5. Disallow universities from making any sort of statement in relation to something that whiffs of politics – Crawford’s speech at the Black Lives Matter event in Ox a few years ago would now be made illegal
        6. Makes illegal diversity statements in hiring
        7. Forces an American history course taught in a very specific way
        8. Make faculty work a minimum of 30 credit hours a year, with room for adjustment for those not on 12-month contracts
        9. Standardize student evals across institutions and make this one mandatory:  “Does the faculty member create a classroom atmosphere free of political, racial, gender, and religious bias?”
        10. Create a post-tenure faculty review process that would make would seem to make tenure moot as it seems designed to make it easier to fire tenured faculty
        11. Prohibits relationships with China
        12. Make affirmative action illegal
        13. Would make Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion perhaps illegal, And 
        14. “Prohibits policies designed explicitly to segregate faculty, staff, or students by group identities such as race, sex, gender identity, or gender expression, including in orientations, majors, financial awards, residential housing, administrative employment, faculty employment, student training, extracurricular activities, and graduations.”  so affinity groups, living-learning communities, lavender graduation all would be possibly made illegal
        15. Ban striking
        16. Force the exploration of a 3 year bachelor’s degree
        17. Would also hurt accreditation of programs at Miami, Like SPA. 

          From Amber Franklin in Speech Pathology and Audiology:

          “Our graduate program receives accreditation through the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA). CAA creates standards that academic programs must meet in order to gain or maintain their accreditation. In 2023, CAA instituted a revised accreditation standard (standard 3.4A/B) titled “Diversity Reflected In The Curriculum.” This revised standard requires programs to demonstrate that issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion are reflected throughout our graduate curriculum--in theory and in practice.”

        18. The accrediting body for nursing programs – the American Association of Colleges of Nursing – now makes DEI an essential concept. While accrediting bodies might not be able to hold a program to standards made illegal in a state – it does make it harder to recruit students into programs that don’t meet all the specifications.
        19. Hope is to pass this in Senate, submit it as opponent testimony and perhaps get some folks ready to testify in Columbus against the bill.
      2. I’m happy to share the bill with you. This is terrifying and I reached out to colleagues about writing this resolution. We have some history stopping bad bills through feedback and letter writing. This is a continued attempt to change what we do in higher ed related to curriculum, hiring, and student experience.
      3. Co-sponsors are Rodney Coates, Nathan French, Venus Harvey, Elizabeth Wardle, Martin Johnson, Daniel Gladish, Chip Hahn, Michele Navakas, Cathy Wagner, Kevin Reuning, Todd Dupont and Bill Moser.
      4. Intel has made DEI an important part of what that company does and this will hurt higher ed and perhaps the economy.
      5. Full Resolution reassuring values from our Mission Statement:

        Whereas we as representatives of the Miami Community have an unwavering commitment to liberal arts undergraduate education, which means students are exposed to a diversity of experiences and viewpoints that strengthen our democracy and republic

        Whereas we believe that Miami’s faculty and educational staff are nationally recognized experts in teaching who best understand what students need to learn to master general education requirements as well as to master specific major requirements; 

        Whereas we understand that part of our mission is to empower faculty, students and staff to become engaged citizens who use their knowledge and skills with integrity and compassion to improve the future of our global society; 

        Whereas we understand that in order to empower our faculty, students and staff in this manner we must remain committed to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at all levels of the university; 

        Whereas we believe a robust higher education landscape that protects academic freedom is critical to the health of the state’s economy; 

        Whereas we believe a robust higher education landscape that protects academic freedom is critical to the health of the state’s economy; 

        Whereas we believe a robust higher education landscape that protects academic freedom and the life of the mind is critical to the constitutional aspiration of forming a “more perfect Union;”

        Whereas we recognize that the partners seeking to work with Ohio’s universities, helping to build Ohio’s future economy, and hoping to employ Ohio’s future workforce – such as Intel – identify diversity and inclusion as instrumental to creativity, innovation, and business success;

        Whereas we believe Ohio Senate Bill 83 to be destructive to the very core of our mission and the foundation of higher education in Ohio;

        Whereas we believe Ohio Senate Bill 83 to also be destructive to our ability to recruit diverse and qualified university employees and diverse and qualified students;  

        We, the members of the Miami University Senate, reaffirm our commitment to critical thinking and independent thought; to the appreciation of diverse views; to a sense of responsibility to our global future. All of which we believe to be at risk should Senate Bill 83 be passed as is. We urge all legislators listed below to reject this bill that would lay waste to higher education in Ohio, putting in jeopardy the health of the state’s economy and its ability to recruit a diverse and qualified workforce.

      6. Please see slides for the Ohio State Senators list
      7. Senate Senator Questions and Comments:
        1. Senator: Proposed amendment  on “as is” is different than encouraging rejection wholesale. (A) We could take the words “as is” out.
        2. Senator: Diversity applies to all students regardless of our demographics. (A) I was trying to pull out the things that were most problematic. 
        3. Senator: I request Senate to affirm commitment to academic freedom and a statement on Academic Freedom as a part of our document. 
        4. Senator: Is this sent to all of the state senators? (A)The plan is to submit it as testimony during hearings. If you go to the site, you can track the legislation and they will let you know when to go to Columbus or submit written testimony.
        5. Senator: Reach out to senators. You have phone numbers. The League of Women Voters has information, too. Encourage people in your communities to reach out. Voters will matter on this. Write op eds. Be loud.
        6. Presenter: I will revise this for next week with those things suggested here in it.
        7. Senator: Motion: I move we accept this pending recommended amendments. (seconded).
        8. Senator: I fully support this, but they aren’t having hearings this week so I don’t see any need to vote because we don’t know what changes will be made. (A) I'm getting rid of As Is. Does Academic Freedom go here or is it separate? (senator responds: separate).
        9. Senator: There are actually other things in other parts of the bill. If we have some time to revise it, to hit on all of it would be good.
        10. Senator: Where did this language come from? (A) Florida.
        11. Senator: I just drafted some DEI language. “Whereas we recognize that an inclusive approach to diversity and equity must encompass the lived experiences of all faculty, students, and staff members of Miami University"
        12. Motion to table was made and seconded for next week, April 10, 2023.(44- For, 2-Against, 0-Abstain)
    4. Re-apportionment of Senate Seats for 2023-2024, Joe Carlin, Senate Liaison to Governance Committee & Professor and Assistant Chair, Department of Microbiology Discussion and Anticipated Vote on April 03, 2023
      1. University Senate Bylaws
        1. 10 at-large Senators
        2. 34 representatives Senators - reapportioned every 3 years
        3. 15 student Senators (13 undergrad, 2 grad)
        4. 8 Presidential Appointees including the Provost.
        5. 1 classified staff members (CPAC)
        6. 1 unclassified staff member (UPAC)
      2. Bylaws Section 1C: Reapportionment Process
        1. 1.C.  Every three (3) years, using data supplied for the fall meeting of the Faculty Assembly, the Governance Committee of University Senate shall review the distribution of the above seats.  The Committee may recommend the redistribution of the thirty-four (34) seats if necessary to maintain the proportional representation of the full-time equivalent faculty assigned to and within the divisions.  Seats shall be allocated proportionally to full-time faculty equivalents by division, then by caucus within divisions, provided that each division indicated above is allocated at least one seat.  Senate must approve any redistribution of the above.  Senate, on recommendation of the Governance Committee, may lengthen or shorten some terms by one year if that is necessary to accommodate redistribution while maintaining staggered terms. 
      3. Process Summary:
        1. The size of the Faculty Assembly for this distribution was 907 for 34 seats, which equated to each senator representing, on average, 26.7 constituents.
        2. CAS had a reduction of representatives and went from 15 to 14.
        3. CLAAS gained a representative and now has five representatives.
        4. Attempts were made to preserve as many caucuses as possible and create new caucus groups that shared academic interests.
      4. Please review slides to see data related to these new Caucus groups.
      5. Senate Senator Questions and Comments:
        1. Senator: Can we have this data? (A) The presentation will be sent out tomorrow.
  6. Special Reports and Provost Update
    1. Faculty Composition Data, Liz Mullenix, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.
      1. We are down Full time tenure line faculty by 16 since 2012. TCPL has gone up since 2012, VAPs have decreased.
      2. But this year we have 61 Tenure searches and 34 TCPL searches under way. If they fail, they will roll over to next year.
      3. Data for the last two years was presented on the percentage of TCPL faculty. This graph indicates the cap lines that are color coded to each division. Small divisions’ numbers are volatile and might be impacted by individual retirements.
      4. Senate Senator Questions and Comments:
        1. Senator: Can we have retirement and VAP numbers? (A) I’ll work on that.
        2. Senator: Why is EHS different? (A) It’s not a pattern. It reflects some local retirements. EHS had more TCPL at the outset than other divisions.
        3. Senator: Is there a goal we are working toward? (A) No. Next week CEC is coming in to talk about their cap. This is in response to the request for this data before we vote on caps again.
        4. Senator: On the question of retirements, can we see historical data? (A) I’ll try.
    2. Provost Updates, Liz Mullenix, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.
      1. You can find your representatives online. (this link.)
      2. There have been myriad meetings this week for Presidents and Provosts within the IUC around SB-83. This collective action is encouraging. 
        1. Sue McDowell has reached out to the other VPs for research.
        2. Fiscal Impact Report submitted; Implications for federal grants, new FTE at time of budgetary stress etc. Information has been gathered and sent to LSC along with data from Publics and Privates who get state money. This is a huge piece of information to show people the impact of this bill.
        3. Accreditation issues are enormous and we have a long list of those bodies that we are sharing.
        4. Impact includes mandatory teaching loads of 30 credit hours over 12 mo.; mandatory 3 credit hour course in US History (w/reading list) that is already a high school requirement; sanctions against violations of “intellectual diversity” rules (rubrics for course approvals, student evaluations, annual reviews etc.); Post-tenure reviews; China.
        5. See essay in The Chronicle of Higher Ed (link). It talks about the impact of SB-83 to reshape higher education in general.
      3. This is a national Strategy; 17 states are currently looking at this legislation.
      4. Senate Senator Questions and Comments:
        1. Senator: This is profoundly stupid and short sighted. Will it pass? (A) I’m hearing that it will pass. 
        2. Senator: Has anyone talked with Florida and how they lost? (A) Part of it is who is in the government right now. Is there enough if DeWine were to veto it to override that? It seems as if there could be.
        3. Senator: This position relative to free speech is absurd. 
        4. Senator: All of the senior management/leadership is working hard. Have we reached out to the Private colleges and universities? (A) Yes. If they take any state money it will affect them and they have their own advocacy group. 
        5. Senator: This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this happen. Evolution, Communism and McCarthy, and Racial Oppression. Student evaluations will be discoverable within three clicks. This is not a one-shot deal, this is attacking LGBTQ, Women’s Rights, Voting Rights, this is intended to divide and conquer us. Lastly, he just has to do this each year and it’s intended to exhaust us.  
        6. Senator: Other University Senates are doing the same thing. Strategy is so hard. They expect us to be ferocious.
      5. Let’s take Time to Celebrate TCPL senators on their promotions: Patrick Lindsay, Carol Fabby, and Daniele Fioretti
  7. Adjournment