Communications Department Chair M. Allen consulted with the UC about the move of the Journalism and Advertising program into the Communications Department. T. Turner will do some research on a range of options Allen presented regarding what sort of structures are allowable under current governance rules in Policies and Procedures and will report back to him.
Acting Dean of the College of Health Sciences J. Doll visited to seek approval for the continuation of W. Keith’s term as external chair of the Biomedical Science Department. Keith has been serving as chair during the 2020-2021 AY. UC members had no objections.
Provost Britz reported on his upcoming meeting with campus deans to plan for the Fall 2021 semester; the meeting will focus on potential issues raised by planning to bring faculty and staff back to campus. He also said that HR will work on policies to guide units whose employees may want to continue to telecommute.
In Members’ Reports D. Misra reported that the University Relations Committee met and heard from T. Luljak as he prepares to leave his position at the University. I. Hu reported that the Graduate Faculty Committee met and approved a policy to allow visiting scholars to serve on MA and PhD committees. They also supported a plan to request an increase in TA/RA/PA stipends.
Under New Business UC members engaged in a conversation about the issues that were raised about voting rights for academic staff at the April 15 Faculty Senate meeting. The Senate voted on a request by the School of Education to grant college-level voting rights to six academic staff members. Several members of the UC raised concerns about how the requests were handled and questioned whether there should be a more formal process by which such decisions are made. Some raised concerns about the criteria by which academic staff would be evaluated while others raised concerns about whether personnel issues like this should be considered in an open forum like a Faculty Senate meeting. T. Turner pointed out the existence of state statutes, Higher Learning Commission requirements, and current Policies and Procedures language around these issues and suggested that further research be carried out to ensure such decisions are made in an appropriate way in future. UC members recommended the development of a process by which such requests are handled and plan to work on drafting such a policy in coming weeks. Since the Codification Committee is the governance committee with jurisdiction over Policies and Procedures, UC members will likely consult with the current chair of that committee.