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K-State Today

October 17, 2014

Highlights from the Oct. 14 Faculty Senate meeting

Submitted by Faculty Senate

Previous Faculty Senate minutes are available online as they are approved. Highlights from the Oct. 14 Faculty Senate meeting:


  • Ruth Dyer, senior vice provost, and Tom Vontz, professor, visited and showed senators the video linked to the climate survey page and encouraged senators to participate in the University Climate Survey, which began Oct. 14. They provided background about how the survey came about and noted there are incentives to complete the survey. This project began from a suggestion at a Faculty Senate meeting.
  • Provost April Mason updated senators about Credit for Prior Learning guidelines from the Kansas Board of Regents. She shared a fact sheet with senators about Credit for Prior Learning and she also will share it with deans.

Consent agenda:

  • President-Elect Guzek presented the consent agenda to senators. The May 2014 graduation list as submitted by the Registrar's office and three other graduation list corrections were approved. 

Standing committee and Student Senate reports: 

  • Academic Affairs: Senator Andy Bennett presented to senators for first reading a resolution of the committee to allow the University Honors Program permission to have a program code in iSIS and he explained the background for having this come through Faculty Senate. Having this as a first reading will allow time for any questions prior to senators' vote on it next month. Committee members are discussing an open/alternative textbook proposal. FSCOT also is looking at this proposal. Other items, which will come forward, are proposed changes to the Honor and Integrity Constitution regarding Honor Council membership, and an endorsement of the Academic Freedom optional syllabus statement, which was drafted over the summer.

  • Faculty Affairs: Senator Betsy Cauble reported the committee is continuing work to prepare language for the University Handbook regarding professional titles; the titles themselves need Kansas Board of Regents  approval, which will hopefully be given at their November meeting. Revisions to Appendix M of the University Handbook that are for clarification and administration purposes were approved at the committee's last meeting. Along with Faculty Senate approval, these clarifications also need approval by the provost and Kansas Board of Regents. An Open Access Policy proposal was presented but will be brought back after a few edits are made. The committee discussed the possibility of handbook language covering personal conflicts of interest; this will not be pursued by their committee right now. The 2014 Status of Faculty Salaries annual report has been received and should be on the November Faculty Senate agenda for receipt by Faculty Senate. Details about electronic promotion and tenure documentation are in discussion by the committee.  Other items of discussion are the possibility of a retention raise policy, and procedures for review of positions such as vice presidents and others, where the handbook does not offer sufficient policy. 

  • Professional Staff Affairs: Senator Danielle Brown reported the committee has been working on a definition for professional staff. They also discussed personal conflicts of interest. Performance evaluations of professional staff are being discussed. They will be meeting with Cheryl Johnson, vice president for human capital, on Oct. 21.

  • Student Senate: Senator Works reported on recent activities in Student Senate. They have amended their selection process for the attorney general position, which will allow this individual to begin training in December in order to gain more perspective prior to their official start in the position. Pizza and Politics will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 13 in the Alumni Center Ballroom. All are encouraged to attend.

  • FSCOT: Senator Don Crawford reported on the discussion the committee had regarding the open/alternative textbook proposal. They are strong supporters of the proposal. Senator Crawford yielded time to Senator Dover to describe exciting changes to Office 365, which will be announced to the university community soon.

  • FSCOUP: Senator Barbara Anderson reported that as a result of better communication FSCOUP, university support staff and Student Senate will have a stronger, more unified voice regarding suggestions for use of city/university funds. They are excited to begin work this year. Steven Graham was selected by the City Commission as the faculty representative to the City/University Funds Project committee. At their October meeting Student Body President Reagan Kays presented members with information about an upcoming resolution to institute a Lifeline 911 or Medical Amnesty policy on campus. Student Senate will bring forward a resolution for FSCOUP's support in the near future. The committee will be meeting with associate vice president Ryan Swanson Thursday, Oct. 16, to discuss a variety of topics related to campus planning, such as the North Campus Master plan, capital improvements requests process, and safety during campus construction and remodeling to name just a few.


  • President Rintoul informed senators of the progress of the ad hoc committee working on procedural language related to the Kansas Board of Regents Social Media policy. Past President Keen indicated the language is almost ready for review.
  • President Rintoul updated senators on the request made at the last meeting regarding certain salary comparisons. Some of the information will be available in the yearly salary report, which will be on the next Faculty Senate agenda. However, he also received further data from the Office of Planning and Analysis that will hopefully be ready to present at the next Faculty Senate meeting as well.

Discussion from Senators:

  • Senator Betsy Cauble encouraged everyone to vote in this year's upcoming elections.


David A. Rintoul, Ph.D.
Associate Director/Graduate Program Director

Biology Division
Faculty Senate President
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506