Minutes of the Wichita State University Faculty Senate
Monday, January 27, 2014
CH 107 3:30 pm
Members Present: Anderson, Baker, Barut, Bergman, Brooks, Bryant, Castro, Celestin, Close, Decker, Driessen, Hamdeh, Horn, Houseman, Hull, Johnson, Kagdi, Klunder, Kreinath, Lewis, Miller, Mosack, Oare, Pile, Rokosz, Ross, Yeager, Yildirim, Yu
Members Absent: Hanawalt, Liu, Lu, Moore-Jansen, Perry,Taher, Thiessen, Trechak
Members Excused: Matveyeva, Rillema
Summary of Action
1. Accepted Committee appointments to Faculty Senate Standing Committees (see Committee Reports, Rules)
2. Forwarded the report from the University Admissions and Exceptions Committee to Academic Affairs Committee
I. Call to Order
President Victoria Mosack called the meeting to order at 3:30pm
II. Informal Statements and Proposals
Senator Brooks asked the Senate to observe a moment of silence for the following faculty members who died since the last meeting of the Senate: Robert Town, professor emeritus of organ (December 10); Al Elcrat, professor of mathematics (December 20); and Steve Hathaway, professor of English (December 26). President Mosack called for the moment of silence and expressed her own thought that these faculty members enriched the experience of others at Wichita State University through their teaching, scholarship, and generosity of mind and spirit.
Senator Klunder asked for clarification/modification of the reporting of a student’s last day of attendance of a class on the final grade report. Senator Close agreed to bring the matter up with the committee that is examining the Student Early Alert system.
III. Approval of the Minutes
The minutes of the November 11, 2013, meeting of the Faculty Senate were accepted as written.
IV. Report From the ICAA Committee -- Eric Sexton, Athletic Director, Gretchen Torline, Director Athletic Academic Services, Julie Scherz, ICAA faculty member
Dr. Julie Scherz, Faculty Liaison to the ICAA Committee, lead off the report from the IAAC Committee, with a review of the Academic Progress Report (APR). The APR spreadsheet is a mechanism to track and provide a measure of the academic accountability of all student athletes at Wichita State. She shared some of the data of the APR that indicated that at this time all WSU athletic programs meet or surpass the academic requirements. She introduced Gretchen Torline, Director of Athletic Academic Services, who discussed the activities and services provided to athletes by her office. Specifically, she spoke to the “Missed Class Policy” (athletes cannot miss more than 20% of their classes for WSU sponsored competitions) and the tutoring service available for all student athletes. She then introduced Athletic Director Eric Sexton, who presented a brief summary of the state of WSU Athletics and the newly completed ICAA Strategic Plan. He began by thanking the WSU faculty for supporting WSU athletics and athletes. He was also grateful to the excellent support provided by Gretchen Torline and her fine staff. He also expressed thanks to Dr. Scherz for her cooperation and wisdom in her role of representing the faculty on the ICAA Committee. He was particularly proud of the meaningful strides that have been made since his time as AD. He touched on the fact that 70% of the $20M budget for athletics is generated by the 15 sports programs (300+ athletes), the remarkable average 3.06 GPA of WSU athletes, the current success of both the men’s and the women’s basketball program on the national stage, and the volunteer activities of WSU athletes for community service. He emphasized the goal of his office is to instill the philosophy to all student athletes that “the world is bigger than themselves.”
Additional information was provided at the following links: Athletic Director Update -- http://www.goshockers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=209356691&DB_OEM_ID=7500, and the new Strategic Plan for ASU Athletics at http://goshockers.com/fls/7500/ICAAStrategic/ICAAStrategicPlan.pdf?DB_OEM_ID=7500
V. President’s Report
President Mosack informed the Senate that the Kansas Board of Regents were very concerned with the improper use of media on the state’s campuses. In fact, as most Senators were very aware, they had recently enacted an Improper Use of Social Media Policy. After announcing the new policy, the KBOR was faced with great opposition from numerous representatives and concerned constituency groups from throughout the KBOR system of campuses, as well as other concerned citizens. They had been asked by the Council of University Faculty Senate Presidents to suspend the new policy until further debate and modifications could take place. They refused to suspend the policy, but established the framework for a Workgroup representing each state university campus to review the KBOR policy and recommend modifications of the current policy. Senate president Victoria Mosack and Rick Muma, Associate Vice-President of Academic Affairs, were appointed by President Bardo to serve on the KBOR Workgroup. In addition, President Bardo will appoint a WSU Taskforce to develop a process to address incidences of conflict with established KBOR Policy on Improper Use of Social Media and to advise the President regarding the University’s response to a violation of the KBOR policy.
VI. Old Business
President Mosack presented the first reading of the new material included in the revised “revision” of WSU Policy 5.06 Resolution of Internal Disputes, and discussed the rationale associated with the portions of the policy that had to be modified. Significant changes to the policy include the following:
• Mediation content removed because it was vague relative to cost and process, and it was difficult to distinguish between the role of the ombudsperson and that of the mediator.
• Suspension of Faculty Member During the Proceedings content that had been removed from section VIII L of the current policy was restored to section to IV of the revised policy.
• Administrators were defined within the policy in the same manner as in the Faculty Senate Constitution rather than referring to the Faculty Senate Constitution for definition.
The only point of dissent during this reading was initiated by Senator Castro when she questioned the addition of a phrase that restricted an invited advisor from taking notes during the proceedings if either side requested such a restriction. Other senators voiced concern over the addition of the restriction, while others were concerned that the adoption of the policy might be delayed yet again if the Senate held its ground on this issue. Finally, Senator Ross moved the acceptance of the revised policy and Senator Hull seconded the motion. The motion was amended to strike the entire sentence from the policy regarding the invited advisor’s note-taking privilege. The motion carried with no dissent.
VII. New Business
President Mosack introduced a Social Media Policy Resolution that the Council of Faculty Senate Presidents had asked each constituent group to consider, and vote to endorse (or not endorse) with no modification. The Council present the endorsed resolution at the meeting of the Kansas Board of Regents on February 12, 2014. The resolution reads as follows:
A RESOLUTION urging the Kansas Board of Regents to suspend the recent “Improper Use of Social Media” amendment to the KBOR Policy Manual (social media policy).
• WHEREAS, The social media policy infringes upon the right to freedom of expression guaranteed by the First Amendment; and
• WHEREAS, The social media policy conflicts with the essential principles of academic freedom and shared governance; and
• WHEREAS, The social media policy harms the recruitment, retention, and accreditation efforts of Kansas Regents institutions; and
• WHEREAS, The social media policy continues to pose a significant threat to the public higher education system in Kansas:
• Be it resolved that we, the Wichita State University Faculty Senate, formally announce our continuing opposition to the social media policy and request suspension of the policy pending the recommendations of the KBOR multi-campus work group.
Senator Klunder moved the approval of the resolution as written, and Senator Close seconded. The motion carried with no opposition.
VIII. As May Arise
The meeting of the Faculty Senate was adjourned at 4:40 pm.
Submitted by Walter Horn
Secretary of the Faculty Senate