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Senate Summary | May 2023

If you missed the Academic Senate meeting on May 1, 2023, or need a refresher, then keep reading for the highlights from the meeting. For more information on the Academic Senate, click here.

Special Order

Senate Personnel & Elections Committee report and senate elections

Dale Larsen reported on the Senate Personnel & Elections Committee and senate elections.

The Senate Personnel & Elections Committee is a policy-mandated committee made up of faculty members (and non-voting ASUU and ex-officio advisors) throughout the University of Utah. We oversee and ensure that university faculty governance, especially via committees, is fairly run with policy-driven elections. This meeting represents an annual report (of elections, mostly) as well as administering the election for future senate president and Senate Executive Committee.

The Senate Personnel & Elections Committee presented the results of the elections held during the meeting for the future senate president and Senate Executive Committee.

President-elect (Academic Year 2024-25)

  • Harriet Hopf (Medicine)

Senate Executive Committee (2023-24)

  • Jen Brown (Business)
  • Timothy A. Brusseau (Health)
  • Nanette Dudley (Medicine)
  • Julia Franklin (Health)
  • Gina Frey (Science)
  • Tucker Hermans (Engineering)
  • Jay Jordan (Humanities)
  • Paul Shami (Medicine)
  • Christopher Simon (CSBS)
  • Patrick Tripeny (Architecture)
  • Jaclyn Winter (Pharmacy)
  • Zhou Yu (CSBS)

Debate Calendar

Proposal to reapportion the faculty representation to the Academic Senate

Randy Dryer and Harriet Hopf presented on the following:

The mix of tenure-line and career-line faculty has changed dramatically in the past decade. There are now seven colleges where a majority of the full-time faculty are career line, yet current policy limits the representation of career-line faculty to only one Senator per college, regardless of the college’s size or the percentage of faculty that are career-line. For example, the School of Medicine has 16 Senators. Even though 69% of its almost 2500 faculty are career-line, the SOM is limited to electing only one career-line representative. This is a serious equity and fairness issue. The proposed policy change would grant colleges greater flexibility, subject to some guardrails, to determine the mix of their tenure-line and career-line elected representatives to the Senate.

Initial Center Authorization: Dan Jones Center for Public Service

Jason Perry and Morgan Lyon Cotti proposed the following:

The Hinckley Institute of Politics aims to create this new, university-wide center to provide signature learning experiences through internships, Hinckley courses, and the Campaign Management Minor; perform public opinion polling to be used for research; engage with the community with forums and candidate trainings; and become a convener of experts on elections, campaigns, and political opinion. The new center will be housed within the Hinckley Institute of Politics with an initial focus on providing public opinion research and public service resources to the university community and the state. Eventually, the center’s scope and influence will be expanded regionally and nationally. The center will be named to honor the late Dan Jones who worked closely with the Hinckley Institute of Politics. Dan inspired generations of students to care about politics, complete internships through the Hinckley Institute, and pursue careers in public service.

Initial Center Authorization: Design Institute for Health and Resilience

Valerie Greer, assistant professor, School of Architecture, College of Architecture & Planning, and Nicole Porter, professor and chair, Multi-Disciplinary Design, College of Architecture & Planning presented the proposal to authorize the Design Institute for Health and Resilience (DIHR), with the mission to incubate, accelerate and disseminate translational, applied and action research that informs and inspires transformational change in environmental design practices in order to further mental, physical and emotional health and resilience across the lifespan.

New Degree: Linguistics Bachelor of Science

Aaron Kaplan, Scott Jarvis and Karen Marsh presented on the following:

The Department of Linguistics seeks to offer a Bachelor of Science in Linguistics. The department currently offers a B.A. in linguistics and certificates in computational linguistics and teaching English to speakers of other languages. Because linguistics is the scientific study of language, science already pervades the department’s curriculum. Linguistics pairs well with other fields that offer a B.S., and many students from these departments express an interest in pursuing a double major with linguistics. The lack of a linguistics B.S. creates a significant barrier to this: students must fulfill the B.A. requirements on top of the B.S. requirements for their first major. Furthermore, linguistics majors are increasingly pursuing jobs in tech industries. The B.A.’s language requirement is less relevant for them. A B.S. will allow these students to take more courses that are directly relevant to their career aspirations, and it will better advertise their qualifications to employers.

Information & Recommendation Calendar

Graduate Council 7-year Reviews

Katharine Ullman presented the following reviews:

Nutrition and Integrative Physiology

This department, which was formed in 2015 from the former Division of Nutrition, is on a very strong trajectory. They offer an undergraduate minor, a doctoral program, and master’s programs aimed at preparing students as dieticians and researchers. A recommendation to consolidate the number of locations where faculty and staff are located would help overcome challenges in community building and in uniformity of training environments. Building on the success of this department will also require investment to support faculty hires and system-wide support for clinical training sites.

Education, Culture & Society

Despite the significant turnover in faculty, the Department of Education, Culture & Society was noted for its cohesive, collegial environment. Faculty have received prestigious awards and play important roles at the university and in the community. Improvements to the graduate program have taken place and the department has recently developed an undergraduate degree that emphasizes community engagement. Recommendations include focusing on the assessment of program effectiveness and outcomes and creating a strategic plan that anticipates faculty retirements and other challenges the department faces.