Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes, EXCO - July 28, 2023

Friday, July 28, 2023
2:00 PM
President’s Conference Room, Madison Hall & Zoom

Senators Present:  Michael Kennedy (Chair), Alan Beckenstein, Aaron Bloomfield, Lisa Colosi Peterson, Jason Druzgal, Tish Jennings (Past Chair), James Lambert (Chair Elect), Carol Manning, Andrew Pennock, Patrik Sandas, Jeri Seidman, Brian Wright.  Participating via Zoom:  Juliet Hatchett, Michelle Kisliuk, Brian Pusser.

Ex-Officio & Guests Present:Amanda Flora, Maite Brandt-Pearce, Kim Acquaviva, Kelly Craig – Administrative.

The chair called the meeting to order at 2:03 PM.

Review and Approval of Minutes
Motion to approve EXCO minutes May 10, 2023: Tish Jennings
Second: Jeri Seidman
Motion Passes

Brief Introductions

Old Business
Michael Kennedy opened by asking if there were any unresolved initiatives from last year that the new senate should finish. None were raised. He asked for new initiatives that both the Executive Council and full Senate could work on this year.

New Business

Brainstorming new topics for this faculty senate year included health benefits and OSP.

Michael shared that he has reached out to each dean and asked them to host a full senate meeting and the informal gathering that follows. Discussion that deans might want to speak to the Senate and maybe Executive Council.  Rotating meets would allow deans to speak to the Full Senate and additional school faculty would learn about Faculty Senate.

Discussion ensued regarding How faculty Senators are selected/elected and the impacts this may have on their experience serving on the Senate.

Additionally, it was noted that the number of senators each school has is based on professors not including lecturers therefore, the numbers vary between schools. Instructors are not included but lecturers are in this count. Amanda Flora offered information about General Faculty Council. Wage faculty is not represented.  Everyone else is covered by either Faculty Senate or General Faculty Council. It was noted that Faculty Senate has an official role within the University, but General Faculty Council does not.

Discussion regarding being proactive and setting policy versus being asked to review existing policy.

Discussion about professor stress and additional work needed to accommodate student needs.
Discussion over inviting former UNC faculty senate chair to discuss how they dealt with the changing political landscape in relation to the governing Board.
Faculty should feel supported in difficult situations. Does the BOV understand the many components of being a faculty member – teaching, research, etc.? Diversity takes a lot of forms. Faculty Senate could work to educate them on how hard faculty works. Maybe invite BOV to an EXCO meeting.

Additional areas to focus on this year would be the Admissions court case over the summer.

Senators discussed the revised financial model which profoundly affected the staff. Faculty Senate was not actively involved in this process. Faculty Senate should not be just reactive but proactive. The Finance Committee did meet and were briefed on the new system but did not understand the impact. There is concern about the model’s impact on various schools.

Bring VP or Dean to learn more about ongoing efforts. What are the considerations Faculty Senate should be dealing with as a body?  Faculty Senate should be willing to bring things to the table. Learn from UNC and models from other schools.

Discussion continued with the idea that starting with the role of the senate may be too intense, may want to start soft to motivate people for the year.

Benefits are another big issue to consider. Alan Beckenstein shared that a webinar will be available in October.

Motion to Adjourn: Aaron Bloomfield
Second: Jeri Seidman
Motion Passes

Meeting Adjourned: 3:52 PM