Faculty Senate Spring 2019 Report

(Published May 13, 2019)   

During the spring 2019 semester, Faculty Senate (FS) met seven times every other Tuesday from 3-4.30 pm. Additionally, Faculty Senate had two special meetings (one on system governance [Feb 12] and one on planning [April 23]) and hosted a faculty assembly focused on faculty institutional service (April 16).

Key Initiatives Update (2018-2019)

1. SCSE Gender Equity Audit

In Fall 2018, SCSE faculty members made a presentation to FS about gender inequities in their college. As a result, EVCAA Delgado agreed to request a gender audit of resource allocations in SCSE. SCSE faculty outlined a list of parameters for the audit related to: (1) Leadership Positions, (2) Resources, and (3) Transparency. The final parameters were arrived at in collaboration with SCSE faculty, Dean Wendy Reed (SCSE) , EVCAA Delgado, the UM System Office of Internal Audit, and the UM System Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. The audit began in Fall 2019 and is being conducted by the UM System Office of Internal Audit.

Status: In progress

Administration believes that the UM System Office of Internal Audit are a couple of months away from a final report. Once all key stakeholders have had an opportunity to review the report, a summary of key findings (or a more detailed report) will be presented to SCSE (and potentially other stakeholders). Faculty Senate will continue to track the progress of this audit and provide an update in Fall 2019.

Related Documentation

2. Student Evaluation of Teaching Task Force (UEA, Faculty Senate, and EOCAI)

The Teaching Evaluation Task Force was convened by UEA President Scott Laderman in December 2018. Task force members include faculty representatives from UEA-D, Faculty Senate, and EOCAI. Faculty on the Task Force represent different colleges and are of diverse ranks and statuses (tenured, tenure-track, and term). There are student representatives on the Task Force who function as a liaison between the Student Association and the Task Force. The Task Force was charged with reviewing the evaluation of teaching at UMD and providing a report and recommendations to UEA-D by the end of Spring 2019.

Status: In progress

The Task Force organized into three subcommittees dedicated to the following: (1) A thorough review of literature on the subject, (2) An examination of UMD collegiate and departmental practices on evaluating teaching, and (3) a data analysis of tabulated UMD evaluation form results. Much work has been completed and some preliminary observations have been made. The Task Force agreed to reconvene in Fall 2019 to continue the work toward recommendations. FS will continue to provide updates.

Related Documentation

3. UMD Campus Climate Concerns addressed to Chancellor Black

In April 2018, FS voted to deliver a memo to Chancellor Black regarding Shannon Miller verdict. FS received a response in May, 2018.  In October 2018, FS sent a memo to Chancellor Black requesting further clarification on campus climate concerns. The memo requested:

  • Increased transparency from senior leadership with regard to Goal 2 contributions
  • Increased sensitivity from senior leadership with regard to gender concerns around service
  • Increased clarity on meanings of terms (e.g., “equity, diversity, inclusiveness, and social justice”) and actions steps/ operational measures
  • Clarity on how the various campus climate teams, groups, and positions are coordinated across campus (e.g., Campus Climate Unit Change Teams, Campus Climate Leadership Team, Campus Climate Response Team, The Disabilities Commission, The Commission on Women , The Commission on Equity, Race, and Ethnicity, The Director for Inclusive Excellence position, and Human Resources, etc.)

Status: Pending

Awaiting response from Chancellor Black

Related Documentation:

4. Faculty Institutional Service Working Group and Report (Faculty Senate, RSCA, and GPC)

Given the robust discussions on FS and its subcommittees regarding the issue of faculty service (i.e., service to the department, college, and campus), FS received a Campus Climate grant in October 2018 to send two senators to attend the Lehigh Summit on Transforming the Culture of Faculty Service/Engagement. This conference provided a wealth of information, resources, and insight. FS and its subcommittees formed a working group, which identified six interrelated key areas of concern at UMD: (1) classification (finding a shared language to talk about faculty service), (2) impact, (3) accountability, (4) efficiency, (5) clarity and equity, and (6) recognition. In Spring 2019, a faculty assembly was held to develop key strategies to alleviate these key concerns. The working group put together a report listing actionable items and who should lead the initiative (e.g., Faculty Senate, Administration, UEA-D, etc.). FS encouraged key stakeholders identified in that document to make public commitments to campus by October 2019.

Status: Complete

Faculty Senate produced a comprehensive report on the issue of faculty institutional service and a list of key actionable items to be complete by various constituent groups.

Related Documentation:

5. Liberal Education Thought Piece Initiative

On March 25, 2019, Faculty Senate put out a call to UMD faculty for think pieces on the role of a liberal education OR liberal arts for undergraduate students. The 2009 Report of the UMD Liberal Education Task Force urged that faculty members who teach liberal education courses be “recognized and encouraged to participate in the revitalization of liberal education on our campus”. It also recommended support for faculty to learn about “the current debates surrounding curricular reform in higher education, particularly with respect to liberal education.” As UMD’s liberal education program is reevaluated in the coming years, Faculty Senate is looking for UMD thought leaders on the topic of liberal education.

Status: Phase 1 Complete; Editorial phase in progress

Faculty Senate received 15 thought pieces as of May 2019. Drs. Kristen Hylenski and Jennifer Brady (Department of World Languages and Cultures) were invited to be co-editors for the collection. The collection will be launched in Fall 2019.    

Related Documentation:

6. Proposal to amend Article VI of the UMD Constitution (Faculty Senate and UCC)

The current UMD shared governance constitution was implemented in 2014. The bylaws were revised in 2017. The constitution’s current amending procedure lacks clarity regarding voter eligibility and regarding what, if anything, can or should be done with comments submitted during the 10-day review and comment period. After considering various approaches and receiving feedback from all shared governance entities, the UCC facilitated a vote on proposed amending language. The vote was held the first week of May.

Status: Complete

Insufficient eligible members voted, so the vote did NOT pass. The majority of those who voted, voted “yes” to the amendment. UCC will reconvene in Fall 2019 at which time a decision will be made regarding whether to put the amendment to another vote or not.

Related Documentation:

7. Making a Case for Strengthening UMD’s Graduate Education and Research Profile (Faculty Senate, RSCA, and GPC)

This document was created specifically for President Designate Joan T. Gabel to showcase UMD’s research productivity and make a case for strengthening UMD’s graduate and research profile.

Status: Complete

Related Documentation:

8. Report showcasing UMD’s Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity in 5 Colleges (Faculty Senate, RSCA, and GPC)

Extending the report created for President-Designate Joan T. Gabel (The Case for Strengthening UMD’s Graduate Education and Research Profile), the goal of this initiative was to compile a revised report showcasing UMD’s RSCA in each of its 5 colleges–CLA, SFA, CEHSP, LSBE, and SCSE. Data in the form of picture-ready charts/graphs with brief descriptions of the data (where the data comes from, what it shows, and what is missing) were solicited from Deans and Associate Deans of each college. Given that much of the data in the original report was from SCSE, requests were not made to SCSE.

Status: Stalled

Data were received from LSBE and CEHSP. Much of the data in the original report was from SCSE, so requests were not made to SCSE. This decision will need to be revisited in the future. Data from SFA and CLA are still pending.  The process was stalled because of concerns from SFA administration about how this report would be used and whether enhancing the research profile of UMD was in the best interests of particular colleges. Barriers and questions about how best to measure RSCA in particular colleges persist.

Related Documentation: N/A

9. UMN System Governance (Faculty Senate and UEA)

The role of faculty in UMD system level governance has been a topic of conversation on FS for the last two years. Two important meetings with external stakeholders have been held. The first was a special meeting of the Faculty Senate on April 5, 2018, with Vice President for Human Resource Kathy Brown and Employee and Labor Relations Officer Patti Dion. The second was a special meeting on Feb 12, 2019, with Les Drewes, the UMD representative on the Faculty Consultative Committee (FCC) and chair of the FCC Task Force investigating lack of representation of faculty on system campuses. The result of the Feb 12 meeting clarified three main options moving forward for UMD faculty:

  1. OPTION 1: Do nothing
  2. OPTION 2: Participate in existing structures (concerns: how to do this, on which committees would we serve, how many faculty would serve on these committees, would we actually have real voice or would it be mere formality, how would/could it curtail our autonomy, is being ex-officio a way to protect our autonomy, but would that be even worth it?)
  3. OPTION 3: Create a new system-level governance structure that distinguishes between campus and system level governance. There are a couple ways to do this that would give us the most voice and likelihood to create change, but it would require a major overhaul by UMN-TC.

Status: In progress

Faculty Senate has yet to determine a strategic plan and pathway forward. This will need more research into system organizational flows and processes and conversations with senior leaders on the UMN-TC campus- namely the Faculty Consultative Committee and President Gabel.

Related Documentation:


  • FS voted to put forth an updated proposal amending Article VI of the UMD Constitution
  • FS voted to nominate Drs. Jennifer Webb (SFA) and Maureen Tobin Stanley (CLA) as mace bearers for Spring 2019 graduation ceremony. Senate agreed to follow a process by which Faculty Senate ensures there is proper rotation among colleges with regard to mace bearers. When it is the turn of a particular college, FS college reps should be responsible for  identifying and vetting potential mace bearers.
  • FS voted to discontinue cosponsorship of Thursdays at the Tavern event in favor of a more meaningful collaboration with staff.
  • FS agreed to co-sponsor the “UMD authors event” organized by Kathryn A. Martin Library and play a role in advertising the event.
  • FS voted to send a jointly written Liberal Education position statement to the Liberal Education Subcommittee co-chairs and AVC Jerry Pepper.
  • FS voted to put out a request for thought pieces from faculty on the role of liberal education.
  • FS voted to invite Drs. Kristen Hylenski and Jennifer Brady (both in CLA, Department of World Languages and Literatures) to be co-editors for liberal education collection of thought pieces. Editors would be responsible for making decision about how to curate and publish this collection.  
  • FS voted to charge the curriculum subcommittee with a request. The specific question that FS voted to charge the curriculum subcommittee with is this: Should campus shared governance advise campus leadership on the basic requirements for different types of undergraduate degrees (B.A., B.S., B.F.A, B.B.A,. B.A.Sc., B.Mus., B.S.W., etc.)? The question will be taken up by the subcommittee in Fall 2019.
  • FS elected Dr. Jamie Ratliff, SFA to be the next chair of Faculty Senate (2019-2020)

Feedback on Academic Policies

  • Admissions Policy Update
  • Syllabus Policy
  • Recommended Syllabus Policy Statements
  • Academic Standing Policy
  • UMD’s "Credit Standards for Instruction and Student Work
  • Policy update proposal from TLC: Final Examinations
  • Policy update proposal from TLC: Course Numbering
  • Policy update proposal from RLC: UMD’s policy on Instructor and Student Responsibilities.


What have faculty been concerned with in 2018-2019?

  • Gender equity: pay gaps and unhealthy work environments for female-identified faculty (concerns mostly brought by SCSE and LSBE faculty)
  • Expanded service roles and minimal recognition for faculty institutional service
  • Lack of clarity, direction, and dedicated leadership for UMD’s liberal education program
  • Lack of procedure and process in shared governance structure at UMD (It is not shared, but consultative. What does it mean to say that something has gone through the process of shared governance at UMD? What is the process?)
  • Faculty are concerned that they play a marginal role in reviewing senior leaders and administrators; more importantly, there are no feedback loops for review process.
  • Concerns around the lack of transparency and faculty input into degree requirements at UMD- who controls degree requirements and what is the process?
  • Concerns regarding the lack of Faculty Senate input into campus objectives and performance indicators in UMD’s strategic planning process
  • Concerns about structure and function of campus climate leadership team (CCLT) and the role of senior administrators in perpetuating campus climate issues.
  • Concerns about the downplaying of teaching and learning (and academic values) in UMPR messaging.
  • The lack of skilled facilities staff for upkeep/ maintenance of scientific laboratories and equipment necessary for faculty research.
  • Concerns about current OIT policy regarding expiration of MyU login limiting access to MyU to only 45 minutes before timing out from initial login.
  • System governance

Guests & Visitors  

  • Lynne Williams (Director, UMPR)
  • Pete Peterson (Faculty, SCSE)
  • Laure Charleux (Faculty, CLA)
  • Jerry Pepper (AVC, Academic Affairs)
  • Tracey Bolen, (Director, Advising and Academic Service, LSBE)
  • Pat Schoff (Research Staff/ Faculty, NRRI)
  • Lester Drewes (Faculty, UMD Medical School)
  • Ryan Hjelle (Faculty, CEHSP)
  • Lendley Black (Chancellor, UMD)

Curriculum Subcommittee

The Curriculum Sub-committee (CS) met five times every other Thursday from 11am–12 pm in spring 2019.


  • The CS voted and approved the Community-engaged Learning (CEL) policy document on its meeting of March 21st.

The CS embarked on the task of outlining a policy document to address the lack of the involvement across campus and delineate standards of practice to guide these experiences. A CEL designation indicates that a course involves a community-engaged learning teaching strategy (e.g., service-learning or community-engaged research). This may benefit students, faculty and the community through increased visibility, strengthened ties to local actors, and increased recognition. After feedback provided from the five collegiate units, the CS voted and approved the policy document on its meeting of March 21st.

  • The CS voted and unanimously endorsed the course inactivation document on its meeting of March 21st

The CS proposed a change to the practice surrounding the inactivation of existing courses and reactivation of inactive courses. Specifically, the current practice has been as follows. Every early fall, Associate Deans (AD) would receive a list of courses that had not been taught in the previous two years. AD would then contact department heads to make a choice to inactivate or keep these courses. The new practice is as follows. Courses not taught for four years will be marked for inactivation. The rationale for four years hinges on the notion that a student should be able to take any given course during the completion of their degree. This modifies the current two year cycle by extending it an additional two years. Reactivation of inactive courses must be treated as a new course proposal. This modifies the current practice of requiring a memo to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education to reactive a course.

  • The CS approved changes in the deadlines for course and program proposals on its meeting of April 18th, 2019.

These changes support the many processes that are depending upon curriculum approvals to support students, including Twin Cities provost and Board of Regents. The course proposal deadlines are October 1st (for subsequent Spring) and November 1st (for Fall). The new program proposal deadlines are December 1st and May 1st.


  • Google Translate (GT) use

The Registrar opened the discussion on the acceptability or not of the use of GT for international transcript and course description review. The committee, with some misgivings, acknowledged that GT is one tool used in reviewing international transcripts. Reps will inform respective committees of this discussion. The LSBE Undergraduate committee raised significant and strong concerns regarding not enforcing the third party translation and verification policy, including the potential liability issue due to inconsistently enforcing the third party translation on campus, as well as the integrity issue that might result in insufficient compliance of HLC requirements.

  • Undergraduate degree requirements

The Faculty senate charged the CS with the issue associated to whether campus shared governance ought to advise campus leadership on the basic requirements for different types of undergraduate degrees (B.A., B.S., B.F.A., B.B.A., B.A.Sc., B.Mus. B.Acc., B.S.W.). The CS engaged in deep and lengthy conversation regarding this issue during the April 18th meeting. However, the complexity of the question grants more detailed and thoughtful discussion regarding jurisdiction and the question of who needs to be involved during this discussion was raised. There has been discussion about including the Faculty Senate and Deans, as well as bringing the issue to collegiate curricular committees. However, no consensus has been reached yet and the discussion will resume in Fall 2019.

Guests & Visitors

  • Rebecca de Souza (Chair, Faculty Senate)
  • Jason Ford (Associate Dean, CLA)
  • Jamie Ratliff (Elected Chair, Faculty Senate)
  • Pam Spencer (Advising Office, CLA)

Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities Subcommittee

The Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities (RSCA) subcommittee held six meetings during the spring 2019 semester.


  • RSCA initiated and co-sponsored a university- and community-wide conference titled Our Climate Futures: Meeting the Challenge in Duluth, March 19-20, 2019. The event included panel discussions, a poster session, art and social justice instillations, and two keynote addresses. The main keynote was presented by Dr. Jesse Keenan (Graduate School of Design, Harvard University) and was followed by a panel discussion featuring local business, social, and government leaders. Financial and organizational partners included RSCA, UMD Distinguished Speakers Fund, Institute on the Environment – Duluth, the University for Seniors, Minnesota Sea Grant, Office of Sustainability, the Natural Resources Research Institute, and ITSS.
  • RSCA sponsored a presentation and workshop by the award-winning poet, GennaRose Nethercott, on April 8, 2009. Financial and organizational partners included the Distinguished Speakers Fund and the Kathryn A. Martin Library.
  • RSCA solicited and reviewed applications from early career faculty and staff to travel to Washington, DC, for the purpose of meeting with program officers and other key individuals in various government agencies. Four UMD researchers/scholars will travel as a group to Washington in May. This program is funded by Academic Affairs via a UM contract with Lewis Burke Associates.
  • RSCA helped organize an informational presentation and consultation for UM’s Strategic Partnerships and Research Collaborative (SPARC) by co-directors Amy Kircher and Katey Pelican (UMTC) on April 15 & 16. SPARC is an institutional hub that provides support very large grants and multi-disciplinary and multi-college programs. SPARC is supported by OVPR and GPS and can provide expertise in grant management, small business start-up, monitoring, and evaluation in any topic or area.
  • RSCA developed draft Key Performance Indicators for Campus Goal 4: Advance UMD’s regional, national, and international reputation for high-quality and impactful research, scholarly, and creative activities.
  • RSCA assisted Faculty Senate in producing a report on Institutional Service, which was presented by Chancellor Black and EVCAA Delgado in April 2019.


  • Status of UMD’s status as an M1 institution, and the potential for pursuing R2 status. This discussion continues efforts from last year, in which RSCA reported out to the Faculty Senate and UMD/UM administrations on some of the aspects of such a move. RSCA determined that it would seek guidance and direction from administration before proceeding further.
  • Requirements for term (and other non-regular) employees regarding IRB (and other) approvals for conducting surveys, research, teaching classes, etc. RSCA will gather information on current status, problems, and concerns.

Guests & Visitors

  • Chris Cramer (UM VP for Research )
  • Fernando Delgado (UMD EVCAA)
  • Joseph Bauerkemper (President, UCC )
  • Julie Etterson (Lead, Institute on the Environment – Duluth)
  • Amy Kircher and Katey Pelican (Co-directors, Strategic Partnerships and Research Collaborative)
  • Cheryl Reitan (UMD PR Consultant)

Graduate Programs Committee

During the Spring 2019 semester, the UMD Graduate Programs Committee (GPC) met 8 times on Fridays from 2–3pm in Darland 520.   


  • Reviewing and/or approving changes to graduate curriculum
  • The GPC was asked to develop key performance indicators (KPIs) around Goal 3 for the Strategic Planning initiative.  Erik Brown took the lead to work with Jennifer Mencl on developing these; GPC discussion focused on two KPIs in terms of target rates for timely completion and employment in related fields, which were approved by vote for use in the Strategic Plan.
  • The ad-hoc committee on Directors of Graduate Studies (DGS) roles and responsibilities has been meeting to discuss service workload and perceived merit of DGS efforts across campus by both peers and administrators.  As of this report, the committee has completed a detailed survey of all DGSs with 22 of 25 programs responding. Data analysis is underway; the committee plans to present a draft report to the GPC early next Fall and, once finalized, will disseminate the findings and recommendations to the Faculty Senate, administration and Scott Lanyon, the Dean of the Graduate School at the system-level, who has expressed interest in the outcome of the survey (as there is no data on DGS activities at the Twin Cities campus).


  • Policies have been implemented at UMD regarding application of previously earned undergraduate credits toward graduate degrees and the academic petition process.
  • 3.0% proposed tuition increase for all graduate programs effective 2019-20
  • A Q&A session with Dr. Bauerkemper on the rationale for the proposed changes to the UMD constitution amendment procedure.
  • System-wide online orientation materials for new graduate students (called GEAR) should be available June 1.  Materials are tailored primarily towards research-based graduate programs, although some materials may be suited for professional program students as well.  Some Duluth-specific resources should be available as well.
  • The Graduate School version of APAS (GPAS) will come online at UMD in 2020.  All programs should ensure their catalog pages are up-to-date and request any necessary changes to be effective for Fall 2020.
  • The GPC heard from VCSL Erwin and Ms. Baribeau-Thoennes on Graduate Student Mental Health needs, resources available to students and how to access those resources.
  • The UMN Extension has partnered with the NE Regional Sustainable Development group and is willing to help connect graduate students to community-based projects, typically those addressing sustainability issues with an agricultural, natural resources and/or clean energy focus.  Funding may also be available, ranging from $3-7K per student on a project.
  • The GPC sponsored/supported a number of graduate student activities throughout the year including GRADTalks, Grad Student Appreciation Week, the 3-Minute Thesis competition and various workshops for graduate students on writing proposals, etc.

Guests & Visitors

  • Carla Boyd (UMD Registrar)
  • Joseph Bauerkemper (Chair, UCC)
  • Lisa Erwin (VCSL)
  • Jean Baribeau-Thoennes (UMD Counseling)
  • David Abasz (UMN Extension Services)

Liberal Education Program Subcommittee

The Liberal Education Subcommittee met 11 times in 2018 -2019 academic year to approve or reject courses into the Liberal Education Program (LEP), monitor assessment of the LEP, and discuss proposed changes to the LEP.   


  • The subcommittee reviewed eight course proposals and approved six courses into the LEP.   
  • In order to streamline the work of the subcommittee the deadline for approval into the LEP was moved to a single date in the Spring semester. The deadline will be February first and courses will be approved into the LEP for the following academic year.
  • The subcommittee reviewed and approved assessment reports for the three year assessment cycle for the categories of Social Science, Fine Arts, Sustainability, and Writing and Information Literacy.   
  • The subcommittee sent letters to every department head asking them to reconfirm their commitment to the course that they are currently offering in the LEP and commit to assessing those courses on the appropriate timetable. As of 5/2/19, approximately 280 out of 480 courses submitted their “reconfirms”. As a result of the relatively low response rate, emails were sent out to all department heads that did not submit forms with a new “reconfirm” deadline of 5/19/19. As of 5/6/19, the general feedback from department heads is that there are many courses that have been dropped from the curriculum and, as a result, the proportion of courses that have not reconfirmed is not as high as previously believed.
  • The subcommittee sent a list of potential external reviewers to the EVCAA for the external review to be conducted in the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • A new Chair of the LES has been voted in for the 2019-2020 academic year: Jennifer Webb.


  • The members were concerned about the low percentage of courses that submitted assessment material in last assessment cycle and how to ensure that all courses are fulfilling this requirement. The subcommittee has spent a fair amount of time discussing the 2017/2018 internal review of the LEP. Much of this discussion revolved around whether and how to remove courses from LEP and implications of such a policy. The subcommittee and the faculty senate met several times in order to clarify the work and mission of the subcommittee and move forward on changes to the LEP. The committee ended the year working on the External Review to be conducted next year and discussing the makeup and format of the review.

Guests & Visitors

  • Jennifer Mencl (Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Effectiveness)