Assistant News Editor
Faculty Senate held its first meeting for the Spring semester today in the Curris Center Barkley Room.
The meeting began with Jay Morgan’s, associate provost, update on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredidation, the evaluation of teachers via other faculty and a new, yearly catalogue under Bonnie Higgonson, provost’s, direction. Morgan also discussed the possibility of giving faculty who are awarded grants a separate bank account to help further their research and to travel and participate in different conferences.
Regent Jack Rose reported a 2 percent increase in enrollment, with most of the jump coming from freshman, a healthy retention and no problem within the audit report which mainly focused on material weaknesses.
Rose also reported the University is healthy financially and, despite the $3.2 million cut that will affect the institution after Gov. Beshear’s proposal that cuts the budget for higher education by 6.2 percent; University President Randy Dunn is not planning to freeze hiring as Eastern Kentucky University is currently in the process of.
Rose spoke briefly on the CPE’s decision to add the University of Pikeville to public universities and encouraged members not to get involved, as it is a highly politically charged subject.
Governmental Affairs reported two bills in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate that pertain directly to higher education: House Bill 38 will require a safety inspection for all University vehicles, House Bill 39 states all health departments should achieve and maintain credibility, and Senate Bill 38 will entail Core Content Standards to be set and college readiness courses KRS 164’s goal is to track freshman and transfer students from the time they are admitted to their graduation. The study will publish current trends and trends over a six year period. Senate Bill 111 will add one non-voting student member to the Board of Regents.
The Intellectual Property Committee is planning to propose a change to the Faculty Handbook – section 2.13.
Administration evaluations will be sent to each faculty member the last week of February. Most faculty will have less than three ballots – one for the provost, one for the dean of their college and one for the department heads. The polls will have only four questions.
As per last year’s meeting, the Faculty Senate discussed the demolition of Ordway Hall. Rose said there is currently a six-month window in which a department can override this demolition, if they can provide the funds, $10 million, to raze the building.
The School of Agriculture is currently sifting through over twelve different new course requests.
The Insurance and Benefits department is in the process of rewriting the description of what constitutes a child for faculty to receive tuition decreases. The changes are expected to take affect next year.
The Senate adjourned the meeting by closing it to only Senate members to discuss the upcoming evaluations of the President.
The next Faculty Senate meeting will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 in the Curris Center Barkley Room.