Faculty senators opened their monthly meeting Feb. 1 with a moment of silence for Dr. Carrie Donald, an Urban and Public Affairs professor who passed away on Jan. 13. Donald received both her master’s degree and her Juris Doctor degree from UofL.

The university’s constituency groups then provided the following reports:

  • The Student Government Association passed four pieces of legislation at its most recent meeting, including a resolution thanking Dr. Neville Pinto for his service. SGA President Aaron Vance signed the Pamona letter calling for the U.S. to uphold and continue DACA. UofL’s inaugural “Unity Week” was called “very successful,” and was the first of three total events that will run throughout the spring semester. The event’s theme was “I Belong.” The themes for the subsequent events will be “You Belong” and “We Belong,” respectively. On Feb. 13, UofL students rallied in Frankfort for higher education policies. SGA representative Meredith Cooksey said the goal is to get 100 students to show up and rally on behalf of universities across the state.
  • The Staff Senate did not meet in January. Chairman Will Armstrong has compiled a list of issues compiled from Meet Your Senator sessions recently held on campus, and has met with UofL’s new Chief Administration Officer, David Adams. A concern was raised about employees affected by the salary equity initiative receiving their letters of notice at the same time as their supervisors.
  • Chairman Enid Trucios-Haynes provided the Faculty Senate Chair report. She shared the body’s suggested characteristics of an A+ university president with the Board of Trustees. She also sent a resolution to members of the UofL Foundation board asking for representation from the university’s constituencies on that board. Trucios-Haynes facilitated a special meeting among faculty to address State Bill 107. Senators agreed to create an abstract of the more in-depth CPE Letter, which has been endorsed by the senate. In the abstract, it was suggested language be included to bring the Board of Trustee membership back up to 17.

Dale Billingsley, interim provost, provided an update about SB107. Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers has asked for UofL’s comments about the bill, as well as comments from universities across the state. Faculty senators and members of the administration have suggested edits to the bill, including the language that focuses on the wholesale dismissal of the board and the “immoral misconduct” terminology. Senators expressed concern about the broad interpretation of that factor as it applied to faculty and suggested, if changed at all, it could be replaced with the specification of a felony conviction.

Billingsley deferred the rest of his report to Professor Beth Willey, who is leading the Gen Ed “Cardinal Core” proposal, which is now under review by all units. Some differences between the old Gen Ed requirements and the new CC requirements include:

  • 31 total credits, versus the current 34
  • Cultural Diversity courses will no longer be standalone courses, but rather any CC course can carry Diversity 1 or Diversity 2 designations
  • Diversity classes have been separated into two categories: Diversity in the U.S. and Global Diversity
  • Students should show proficiency in skills before completing 30 degree-applicable credit hours

Units are asked to provide their input about the proposal, which is available in full online. The goal is to have this curriculum in place by the fall of 2018. A series of workshops is planned this spring to re-work syllabi and prepare for the new curriculum.

Dr. Greg Postel, acting president, was introduced to the Faculty Senate for the first time since moving into the leadership position earlier this month. He said he will spend the next few weeks getting more familiar with the Belknap Campus, since he is located on the HSC campus.

Postel provided a brief overview of his background: he graduated from the College of Wooster and received his medical degree from Case Western University, both in Ohio. He then worked at the Cleveland Clinic before moving to Minnesota for a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic.

In 1994, an “exciting opportunity” was presented to him to open a neurology division at the University of Louisville.

“I had never even been to Kentucky,” he said. “It has been an unexpected and exciting journey.”

Postel has spent 18 years as chairman of radiology and helped develop UofL Physicians, where he served as the founding board chair and CEO. In 2015, Postel was named interim EVP of Health Affairs.

“I like challenges. I like cleaning things up and fixing things so that the people after me have an easier go of it,” he said.

Postel said the challenges we face are well known, but they include a small number of issues that are unusual and overshadow 90 percent of the news from UofL that is good.

“That bothers me. We need to increase our stock value and share more of that good news,” he said.

Postel’s initial top priorities include the SACS accreditation issue and budget issues.

“We’ve been spending more money than we’ve been taking in. To fix that, it will require thought, creativity, and hard work. We have no available pool of money to make strategic decisions and that has to change,” he said. “Fortunately, we have tremendous support from the new board of trustees.”

Postel ended his report by stating he “feels pretty good” about where we are with the SACS accreditation progress.

“We know what SAC’s concerns are and we are standing on our heads to address those concerns,” he said.

David Adams, chief administrative officer, was introduced to the Faculty Senate for the first time since taking on his new role in January. Adams also serves as the CEO for the Institute for Product Realization at UofL.

He provided a brief bio to senators, including his history as a first-generation college graduate. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Speed School of Engineering and, now, both of his children attend UofL.

Adams spent a number of years in the private sector before moving to the public sector in 2005 as part of Indiana’s Public Employee Retirement System. That public experience led him to the opportunity at UofL. His objective in working with the IPR is to “connect more tightly with industry to get more industry dollars,” citing the GE FirstBuild partnership as an example.

Adams said his first priority in the new CAO role is to talk to the university community to create objectives, and to gauge progress via quarterly scorecards. He also intends on incorporating shared governance as part of his team’s decision-making process.

Committee reports

Academic Programs: N/A

Committee on Committees & Credentials: N/A

Redbook and Bylaws: Clarification changes to the Speed School bylaws were approved. Changes for the Dental School, including the addition of a diversity committee, were also approved.

Part-Time Faculty: N/A

Planning and Budget: The Planning and Budget Committee has held discussions on how to be more involved in the university’s Strategic Plan.

Executive Committee: The Executive Committee has held discussions about Senate Bill 107, endorsed the proposal of having UofL constituency representation on the UofL Foundation board, and endorsed a letter sent to former President Pinto concerning undocumented students. The endorsement was sent to Vice-Provost Mordean Taylor-Archer.

Faculty Athletics Representative: Delegates approved a number of legislative proposals at the January NCAA convention, including many that relate to relieving student-athletes of some of their time demands. More information is available online

Human Resources Advisory Committee: HRAC is evaluating a restructure to broaden participation and bring increased focus to key strategic HR initiatives. The goal is to create targeted HR advisory resources composed of individuals across the university with knowledge and skills that complement the knowledge and skills of UofL’s HR team. The committee has expressed concern about shared governance being eliminated from the new structure and will follow up with HR to ensure that does not happen.

The next Faculty Senate meeting is March 1, from 3-5 p.m. in Chao Auditorium.

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Alicia Kelso
Alicia Kelso is editor of UofLNews and UofL Today. She joined UofL in 2015 as communications director of the Brandeis School of Law. Prior, she was the editorial director of foodservice media for Networld Media Group, where her work was featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Bloomberg, The Seattle Times, Good Morning America and Franchise Asia Magazine. She continues to serve as a contributor for many publications, including QSRweb.com, FastCasual.com and Innovation Leader.