University Senate - October 10, 2022 Minutes

Meeting Minutes
October 10, 2022

The University Senate was called to order at 3:30 p.m., in 111 Harrison Hall on Monday, October 10, 2022. Members absent: Kenya Ash, Cheryl Chafin, Tyler Eyster, Kennedy Hughes, Yong Lin, Elise Martin, Eli Davies, Kevin Messner, Liz Mullenix, Troy Travis

  1. Call to Order and Welcome
    1. Announcements and Remarks by the Chair of University Senate Executive Committee, Thomas Poetter
      1. Tom announced that Chair of University Senate, Provost Liz Mullenix was unable to attend and Tom established no objection to removing item 6 of the Agenda. Tom also received approval to present on Liz’s behalf but acknowledged that follow-up questions regarding these items should be directed to the Provost.
          1. Homecoming weekend was a huge success from a donor relations and fundraising perspective as we kicked off the public phase of the Comprehensive Campaign: For love, for honor, For those who will.
          2. We are working on a short, medium, and long term plan on how to address the issue of remote proctoring. In the short term, we will complete the RFP in order to decide the best software to use in the next couple of years. The medium plan will be to create a new committee to work on identifying and training faculty on alternative pedagogies, and the long-term plan is to both replace remote proctoring with other methods while at the same time identifying best practices for online teachers.
          3. New Provost's Faculty Advisory Council will meet this week for the first time. We will get the names of this council up on the website asap so that faculty know who their reps are on this Committee. We deliberately did not put senators on so that other faculty can have a voice.
          4. Liz will be in Luxembourg next week. We are signing a new agreement for a Luxembourg Foundation so that European alumni can give money to support MUDEC. Provost Mullenix will also tour the international school where TCE students can do their student teaching now, investigate the non-home stay housing for students, meet European faculty and alumni, and look at cohort programs (like Architecture). There have been some questions about MUDEC as it relates to Oxford faculty and Cheryl Young will be speaking to the Senate in the next few weeks about these questions.
          5. SB 135 about Free Speech was discussed at the Provosts' Inter University Council last week. As you know a formal process must be established by every school in order to investigate and adjudicate complaints. Most universities are using their General Counsel's Office in concert with their Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs to investigate and provide support. We will probably be creating a similar process, and Provost Mullenix will keep you posted about this. We have not had any complaints yet.
        1. Journal Curriculum Theorizing, had a meeting a year ago with 110 people attending a meeting, but it was wobbly. Next week is this year’s meeting and he hopes that the ground is getting firmer and we find joy in the way things are and not the way they are supposed to be.
        2. Concerned over the past several weeks due to Tom learning more about the state of Mental Health of Staff, Faculty and Students. Tom hopes that we can work together to address Mental Health at Miami.
        3. Special attention might be needed for our Junior class who began their studies remotely and are now finding their way on campus and in person.
  2. Approval of University Senate Minutes
    1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to approve the September 26, 2022 minutes of the University Senate. (48-Yes, 0-No, 0-Abstain)
  3. Consent Calendar
    1. The following items were received and accepted on the Consent Calendar:
      1. Curricular Items _10.05.5055
      2. LEC Meeting Minutes_09.20.22
    2. Removed for discussion LEC Meeting Minutes_09.27.22 
  4. New Business
    1. SR23-xx- Proposal to Change the Senate Bylaws with respect to the Function of Graduate Council - Amity Noltemeyer, Associate Dean, Graduate School
      1. Presentation Only: Discussion and Anticipated Vote on November 7, 2022. Details of Amity’s presentation can be found in the attached slides on the website.
      2. Context for Resolution
        1. Developed and refined Operating Procedures and Guidelines
        2. Identified differences between current functions and Senate bylaw.
        3. Resolution to amend Senate bylaws to ensure alignment and continuation of important functions
      3. Changes to the purpose include:
        1. Petitions: “ review student petitions (unless they have been determined by the Graduate Council to be under the purview of the Graduate Dean) and recommend their approval or denial...”
        2. Advise Graduate School: “...and to serve in an advisory capacity to the Graduate School on matters related to procedures or policies not covered above.”
      4. The University Governance Committee looked at this and said that they saw no problems with this.
  5. Special Report -- Update on Boldly Creative Graduate Programs and changes to our practices on Summer Stipend – Michael Crowder, Assoc. Provost and Dean for Graduate School Details of Michael’s presentation can be found in the attached slides and on the website.
    1. Graduate Education at a glance (Fall 2022 numbers)
      1. Total graduate students - 2,461 (325 doctoral students, 28 specialists, and 1,790 master’s students (+318 BA/MA Students); did not include grad certificates.
      2. Largest program - Project Dragonfly - 756 students
      3. 71% female; 29% male, Domestic students of color (IPEDS): 22.5%
      4. 12 Doctoral programs (1 EdD; 11PhD), One Specialist and 68 Master’s programs
      5. Ca. 600 Graduate Assistants (27%)
      6. 20 Graduate certificates (13 are stand alone)
      7. 37 Bachelor’s/ Master/s (BAMA) programs
    2. Graduate School Goals 2022-2023
      1. Increase Revenue from Graduate Programs (NTR)
      2. Improve DEI in Graduate Education
        1. Belonging - Grad student associations (4); book clubs; mentorship; online students
        2. Recruiting at HBCU and HSI
        3. GA support for OIDI and Myaamia; DEP
      3. Build National Reputation for Graduate Education and Miami (UCM; CGS Advocacy; Graduate Fellowships; Communications).
    3. Status of Online/BC Graduate Programs
      1. 9 new revenue Generating Graduate Programs (since Fall 2020), 5 getting ready to launch:
        1. Master’s in Biomedical Sciences - start Summer 2023
        2. Master’s in Physician Associate - start Fall 2023
        3. Master’s in Athletic Training - start Fall 2023
        4. Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction - start Fall 2023
        5. Doctor of Nursing Practice
      2. How do we decide on new programs?
        1. MAPI - Gray’s Associates/ EAB - Market analysis, enrollment prediction, competition; Budget analyses - Net tuition revenue, cost of marketing
        2. We are going to have to evaluate the Boldly Creative programs and make a decision about which to continue and which to suspend.
      3. How do we successfully launch new programs?
        1. Graduate Admissions - Slate, Best practices
        2. Marketing - Set enrollment goals and use outside vendors; We are spending $2M on marketing.
        3. Miami On-line - fully staffed Best practices, Highest quality
        4. Reputation in graduate space
        5. We have to be able to scale these programs and maintain high quality on the Graduate programs
  6. Summer Fellowships
    1. Brief History
      1. Summer stipend/ scholarship - started 1980-1990’s? -$1,800 for any full time GA-Funded by E&G - $1.4 million index
      2. Summer stipend/scholarship - ended Spring 2020 (FY20 budget cuts)
      3. Summer/Fall 2020 - New Summer Fellowship Program started (Fall 2020) - $500K index
      4. Summer stipend/scholarship - “grandfathered”
    2. Graduate Summer Fellowship Program
      1. Summer stipend/ scholarship - started 1980-1990’s? -$1,800 for any full time GA-Funded
      2. Eligibility requirements - progress to degree, working on degree requirements, etc.
      3. Time limits - 4 years doctoral; 2 years Master’s
      4. Competitive - 300 awards a year
      5. Must commit to 6 weeks of work (20 hrs per week) in the summer
      6. $1,500 2-semester GA’s; $750 1-semester GA’s
      7. Subject to available funds, Dean Crowder is not sure if we have enough to cover all requests. Fall Development Campaign is trying to raise additional funds. Templates are available in Developments
    3. Strategies to Increase Revenue from Graduate Programs
      1. Maximize Graduate State Subsidy
      2. New Revenue-Generating Graduate Programs
      3. Online Professional Education Programs
      4. Graduate Assistants on External Grants
    4. Increase number of GA’s funded by external grants
      1. Maximize Graduate State Subsidy
      2. 2020 Policy - any GA’s funded on grant would need to include 4.3% of the direct costs as tuition
      3. Cornerstone grants - GA matching
    5. Senator Questions and Comments:
      1. Senator asked whether Are the enrollment numbers provided in the presentation were just for the new programs or current programs too. A:The numbers represent both.
      2. A senator was concerned and wanted to look at ways to address costs for students. Based on previous work with Amy Bergerson on lowering student costs on textbooks, we’d like to help address this. A: Dean Crowder responded that this would be welcome support.
      3. Senator asked about the viability of recruiting students who pay in full. Are we really competing with other Universities and is the cost $995.00 per credit hour? A: Most of the programs are online, only one is 100% face to face. We will be competitive with the programs mentioned. Those are all market-driven tuition, whereas ours are not.
      4. A senator expressed concern that as we maximize the programs by hiring non-tenure track faculty, academic freedom may be lost.
      5. Are building costs added into those figures? Referring to the Digital and Health Science building. A: We are adding lots in debt service with the new buildings (digital, health sciences). Dean Crowder shares that concern, particularly with the PA program. However, these costs are included in the estimates presented.
      6. Senator expressed concern about whether we can sell these as a Miami program if Miami faculty aren’t teaching it. A: We’re going to have to work through that and, reactions will be strong. Those are complex issues. Expansion is difficult.
      7. Regarding summer stipend, will all departments be required to rank their graduate students? How do we do that? A: The best way to handle this is to have strict ranking pre-defined prior to ranking. We send out resources to help with this along with our weekly emails to graduate directors.
  7. Fiscal Priorities Committee - Brooke Flinders, Regional Associate Dean and Melissa Chase, Chair, SLM
    1. Brooke and Melissa, in the interest of continuity, have set up a system to induct new leadership each year. Brooke will take the lead for this first semester with Melissa’s support, and vice versa for Spring. Then, next year Melissa  will share the role with someone else.
    2. Senate is one step ahead of the FPBP committee in that Senate has heard from Brent Shock and Dean Crowder already, but they are on the future agenda for FPBP.
    3. Details of Brooke Flinders and Melissa Chase’s presentation can be found in the attached slides and on the website. Highlights include:
      1. Fiscal Priorities Charges are: 1) To represent University Senate and offer on-going recommendations to administration on the financial management of Miami University and setting fiscal priorities and budget planning (both long term and immediate concerns); 2) To report to University Senate; and 3) To work closely with and advise the President, Provost, and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Services
    4. (New) Fiscal Priorities Template for Presentations
      1. Pertinent Background
      2. Strategic Priorities (Including Boldly Creative updates, if applicable)
      3. Budget Summary (standard data provided)
      4. Context of Contributions to University’s Financial Well-Being
      5. Other Critical Highlights and/or Concerns
    5. State Subsidy only makes up about 10% of Fiscal Budget, which means we are highly dependent on tuition revenue. With this we fund Miami’s “general fund” administrative costs, we maintain and operate education and administrative facilities, operate Oxford’s athletic fields and facilities, and partially subsidize graduate education and research. Tuition revenue is the financial lifeline of Miami University
    6. Enrollment Numbers and Tuition Revenue Do Not Correlate – Discounting and Scholarships Impact the Bottom Line. We enrolled 400 fewer students this year, but earned $5 million MORE in tuition dollars related to tuition discounting. Last year was a bit of a fluke. Every year since 1970, the revenue has gone up until the last few years. This is perplexing for seasoned budget keepers.
    7. There’s a see-saw. We have to admit more students, but need to have more discounting to be competitive.
      1. We need to continue to offer high-quality undergraduate and graduate programs that students want
      2. We have to deliver on student (and parent) expectations
      3. We know that some students and parents are questioning the value of a college degree and want to see evidence of a strong return on investment
    8. We face budgetary challenges, though we have strong financial reserves/ resources from which to draw.
      1. Miami’s budget faces many of the same pressures as our personal budgets. Rising costs and declines in the stock market
      2. We have had a drop in tuition revenue due to a sharp decline in students enrolling from China
      3. Our reserves obviously won’t last forever, since we’re drawing on them to balance this year’s budget and are using them to invest in high demand academic programs
      4. These reserves are one way Miami is better positioned than many of our sister schools, but we must begin to re-grow tuition revenue to keep up with future needs
    9. Senator Questions and Comments:
      1. We spend a lot of time talking about loss of numbers. If we solved the retention issues, do we know what those numbers would look like? Are we able to figure what those numbers would be? A: That is being examined.
      2. What is our total spent on discounting this year and what metrics are looked at to make those decisions? A:That is a question for Brent Shock. We will get that information when he visits.
      3. Requested more information on discounting metrics for this body. A: We will reach out to Brent to see if there is something that he could share with us.
      4. A senator felt that we banked on income from online grad programs in a market that is saturated. That was a gamble that isn’t paying off. Can we hear more about that choice? Also I heard that our tuition is paying for athletics. If so, can we hear more about that in the future? A: We will bring that information back after our conversations with David Saylor. Fiscal Priorities does a report at the end of Fall and Spring that may answer some of these questions. We are investing in the things we hope that will pay off in the future without losing sight of what is here and now.
      5. RCM's values statement was missing a connection to the mission and values of the university and the value of a liberal education. Do you have a mission and values that you think about as a committee? A: Brooke commented that identity in this work is a balance and that she feels she represents the University Senate, but also her own faculty values. The committee does rely on the university mission in discussions about RCM and feels that overall, Creamer has said that RCM is responsible for the position we are in now–it was a good move. Melissa added comments about how the Miami brand and high quality are present in their thinking as well and that they feel the Deans also bring these perspectives.
      6. We have seen these presentations before and we want to encourage Dr. Creamer to speak about budgeting for retention and how we are recruiting faculty to teach these high level programs or possibly the Provost. A:Dana Cox was recognized and commented that faculty retention and recruitment are high priorities. This is a complex question and the data is being examined; retirements are up and  there are many factors to consider when examining why a faculty or staff member has made the decision to leave. In some cases, leaving is a good move for a faculty member and should be celebrated if it advances their career. We want to see our Faculty and/or Staff succeed and do what is best for them and their families and we hope that is to stay here with us at Miami.
  8.  Executive Session. Three candidates for honorary degrees were approved to be forwarded to the Office of the President.
  9. Adjournment

The next meeting of University Senate is scheduled for November 7, 2022, 3:30 p.m., 111 Harrison Hall