President's Report - April 8 2022
Board of Governors
The Board of Governors met on March 28 and 29th. You can see the meeting agendas, materials, and recording online.
- Discussion of implementation of Senate Bill 7044 that requires the BOG to identify and determine the accrediting agencies best suited to serve as the accrediting body for the SUS by September 1, 2022. SUS institutions will be required to obtain accreditation from a different agency that previously used in the year following reaffirmation or fifth-year review.
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees will meet on April 12 in the Cohen Ballroom. The Governor has appointed four new trustees to our Board, getting us back to a full board of 13 members once again. The full meeting agenda and materials are available for you to view online. The BOT will get an update on the Presidential Search. A committee of university representatives and board chair reviewed three search firms and unanimously recommended AGB (Association Governing Boards) Search. The Search Committee should be announced any time now, we are waiting on Board of Governors approval. Trustee Morton will be chairing the committee.
There are a few regulation changes on the BOT agenda, and you have had an opportunity to review those already. One you might be interested in is about textbook adoption. The substantial changes (additional paragraphs talking about Dean review and Reporting) have been added to match language in the BOG regulation on textbook adoption. The other regulation change of note is the Waiver of Tuition and Fees. I sent an email on 4/6 to Senate membership explaining the journey of this regulation (and policy change):
"Attached is a draft of a new university policy* on tuition waivers. This policy was developed because the Board of Trustees voted in the Fall to delegate authority over tuition waivers to the President, meaning that it was not longer necessary to have the tuition waiver information reside in a BOT approved regulation. It can now be a university policy, which can be approved at the Presidential level.
If you have been following this tuition waiver journey, you will note that some of the language that most faculty found objectionable in the previous regulation about graduate student waivers has been altered. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns. The BOT will be voting to amend the tuition and fee regulation next week to remove all detail about tuition waivers and that will clear the way for this policy to be approved and enacted.
*underlining is just to call attention to the difference between the policy and regulation"
One more important item on the BOT agenda is the 2022 Accountability Plan (page 111 of PDF). The plan is up for approval by the BOT first and then it will go to the BOG in June.
The Academic team/committee of the COVID taskforce has recommended a change in the COVID related language suggested for our syllabi. The Faculty Senate Executive Team reviewed the recommended changes in the document. It was our opinion that perhaps more general language regarding medical absences for syllabi might better serve faculty in the long run, instead of changing COVID related language every time COVID changes. However, the emergency management folks with the COVID taskforce felt that it was important to provide guidance on COVID, specifically, while student may be moving between states and localities with different COVID protocols.
For this reason, and due to the minor nature of the changes to the suggested COVID language, the Executive Team felt that the proposed changes could be made without having to take a vote of the full Senate. However, because issues with the Syllabus guidelines document and the process for changing, approving, and disseminating the information within it have continued, I'd like to suggest an ad hoc team to look at what we could do to improve the guidelines for the next year. I invite Senators and Senate Team members to let me know if you would be interested in serving on this team.
Provost Rieger reports that the promotion cycle using Interfolio has gone very well. Only 5 out of about 50 people (don't quote me on those numbers, but I'm close) applying for promotion did not use the electronic system. Based on his experiences and the results from some feedback gathered by Andi Clemons from other participants in the process, there will be further discussion about how to move forward with Interfolio. The Provost also mentioned that the field of promotion candidates was very strong this year and the materials looked even better than last year.