Senate News, September 14, 2020

University Senate met on September 14, 2020, via WebEx. Senate heard a presentation from Joel Harper, Chair, Finance, regarding the proposed Real Estate major (B.S. Business.) The major was unanimously approved (resolution below.) Tim Greenlee, Senior Associate Dean, Farmer School of Business, updated senate on proposal to increase FSB's TCPL cap to 40%. The proposal was received and approved. The ICA furlough plan was explained by Dr. David Creamer, Sr. V.P. for Finance and Business Services. The plan was received and approved. Finally, discussion regarding the Reduction in Force Policy was continued by senators, led by Robin Parker, General Counsel. The policy was received and approved.

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

The August 31, 2020, University Senate meeting minutes were approved. With the approval of the August 31, 2020, minutes, the following resolution was approved:

SR 21-01

Sense of the Senate:  Furlough Policy Recommendations

August 31, 2020

Whereas, Senate recognizes the unprecedented circumstances and financial repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Senate supports revising the furlough policy in the following way: the 20-day limit and the consecutive 5 days/40 hours limit will be replaced with an unlimited cap until July 31, 2021.

Whereas, so that Senate can make an informed recommendation on furlough proposals, current university revenue and expense and cashflow reports and projections as well as a summary of avoidable and non-avoidable costs will be shared with Senate. The information provided ahead of Senate’s decision on ICA furloughs should not be taken as a precedent.

Whereas, Senate supports the principles and considerations in the statements on furloughs from UPAC and CPAC, and asks the Board of Trustees and administrators who are designing furlough policies to consider, in addition, the following principles: Whenever possible, people should be working. Other avenues to dealing with a budget shortfall should be considered before furloughs and layoffs and position eliminations.

  • Furloughs are preferable to lay-offs and position eliminations.

  • Furloughs should be thoughtfully implemented with careful consideration of both employee welfare and Miami's mission

  • Furloughing people up to the allowed limit will be deeply painful to employees and should be avoided whenever possible

  • Avoid furloughs for people who make under $40K a year, whenever possible.

  • Consult with employees who will be impacted regarding whether they would prefer furloughs to be structured in a way that allows them to receive unemployment benefits (ie, taking furlough days in week-long increments) or if they would prefer to have the furlough days spread out across as much time as possible

  • Furloughs should be progressively graduated so that lower-paid workers are the least impacted

  • Furlough days should be commensurate to pay reductions and reduction in work

  • Employees should be provided with as much notice as possible before a furlough begins

Furthermore, Senate asks Fiscal Priorities Committee to prepare for a future, more permanent revision to the furlough policy by identifying a limit for furloughs that would both address a reasonably projectable budget deficit and would also take into account the amount of reduction in annual income an employee who makes at or above Butler County median per-capita income can tolerate. There is no reason to establish a limit for furloughs that is above what a projectable budget deficit might require.

With the approval of the September 14, 2020, University Senate, the following Resolution was approved:

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.