The Faculty Senate met Dec. 6, welcoming guest reports from interim president Greg Postel, as well as Joe Dablow, director of operations and planning in the office of Enrollment Management.

Dr. Postel just returned from Dallas and provided senators with an update about UofL’s SACS accreditation, which has been fully restored.

“That is very good news. And there are no strings attached; it was a full, clean removal (of probationary status),” he said, thanking many people involved in the process to re-gain accreditation.

SACS will be back on campus in the spring for a routine visit, which was interrupted last year due to the probationary status.

The NCAA process will continue next week with appellate hearings. UofL is appealing two specific penalties in the case.

“Technically, this is a win. But there is a lot of complexity involved because the NCAA has its own rules and guidelines. The facts are good, the story is terrible and we’re not defending those involved, but rather those affected who weren’t involved,” Postel said.

He also said there are “lots of searches underway,” including:

  • COO – there are two finalists, both external, and this position is expected to be filled by the end of December.
  • VP of Enterprise and Risk Management – this position is new but necessary, according to Postel.
  • In January, the new CFO will start, as will the new dean of the Brandeis School of Law.
  • The new controller search started this week.
  • Searches are underway for the J.B. Speed School of Engineering and the School of Nursing.

“Next year will be no different, as we currently have interim positions for communications and marketing, HR, advancement and the Provost. And, depending on how the presidential search goes, the EVP for Health Affairs as well,” Postel said.

Postel also touched on the KentuckyOne Health sale downtown, nothing there are two finalists – both private equity firms – that could buy the buildings. The buyer is expected to take ownership and continue to partner with UofL to help manage programs that take place in those spaces.

“This is a good place for us to be and we expect to know more by the end of December,” he said.

UofL is in the final stages of the Campus Climate Survey. One was conducted a few years ago, but the information was not released to the campus.

“We now know the reason it wasn’t sent out is because it was critical of the administration. So we’re going to send both that one and the new one out when it’s ready,” Postel said, to applause. “We can’t fix problems if we don’t know what they are.”

Postel ended his report by announcing that Friday, Dec. 22 will be a holiday.

“It’s been a rough year and everybody deserves a day off,” he said.

Jim Begany, vice provost for Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success, said UofL has close to 3,000 more applications compared to this time last year. The office is undergoing a reorg, with Dablow leading engagement efforts with the goal of graduating students.

Dablow said the graduation rate at UofL was 43.3 percent 10 years ago. Last year, it was 54.4 percent.

“We’re really proud of that, but it’s still not good enough. We still have work to do,” he said.

He said the university is on pace to increase its graduation rates by about 2 percent each year, which should put us around 60 percent by 2020. His office is tasked with finding out why students don’t persist through graduation and there are two main reasons: They shouldn’t be here in the first place because it’s not an academic fit or other reasons such as financials, or they have either had a mediocre or worse experience here.

“We’re trying to get in front of students as early as orientation,” Dablow said.

The groups of interest and persistence for the office are:

  • Underprepared students
  • Underrepresented students
  • Underresourced students
  • Pre-unit students

Underresourced students represent the biggest cohort. Dablow said the biggest impact on enrollment increases in the past 10 years has been the 274-percent increase in student scholarships.

Actions Items

An update to the School of Medicine Bylaws was approved that included clarified language.

The College of Business proposed a master’s of science degree in Business Analytics, aimed at new graduates and people looking to switch their career. The 30-hour degree focuses on analytics and data mining, and is a cohort-based, revenue-sharing model that is available online. The School of Public Health and Information Sciences is exploring a similar program and eventual collaboration is possible. The motion was approved by the Faculty Senate.

The Committee on Committees and Credentials held elections that included Reg Bruce (Business) and Diane Chlebowy (Nursing) being added to the Academic Programs Committee, and David Schultz (A&S) being added to the Planning and Budget Committee.

Reports

The Student Government Association report is online

The Staff Senate report is online

The Faculty Senate Chair report is online

The Provost’s report is online

The Faculty Athletic Representative’s report is online

The HRAC report is online. An announcement was made that there is a Hepatitis A outbreak in Kentucky and the vaccine will be offered to employees.

The Presidential Search Faculty Consultation Committee report is available online

The AAUP report is available online

The Faculty Senate meeting in January will be held on the second Wednesday, 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.