Senate Summary | November 2020

If you missed the Academic Senate meeting on Nov. 2, 2020, or need a refresher, then keep reading for the highlights from the meeting. For more information on the Academic Senate, click here.

Consent Calendar







President Ruth Watkins reported on Election Day participation and accommodations; the meeting with Dr. Deborah Birx and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield; the McCluskey settlement; the Nov. 7 Utah Football game; Thanksgiving and winter break planning and preparations; the Indigenous Land Acknowledgement; joining the lawsuit on new federal rules; the most recent U.S. Presidential Executive Order.

Ephraim Kum, ASUU president reported the following: As we get further into the year, we in ASUU have been seeing newer and newer challenges and difficulties that students have been facing, and have been trying to come up with newer and newer ways to support students during such a difficult time. Much of our work has been focusing on mental health, the election, as well as making student voice heard in conversations surrounding social justice.

Debate Calendar


Michelle Valdes, ASUU vice president of student relations, and Wanda S. Pillow, professor and chair of the Division of Gender Studies, School for Cultural & Social Transformation presented the following:

In the face of recent White House moves to defund anti-racism and diversity training and disparage those who conduct this work, we request that the Academic Senate approve a clear statement (1) to affirm the importance of supporting anti-racism, diversity and inclusion scholarship, teaching and training at the University of Utah and (2) to call for leadership to protect and extend this work on our campus. The proposed resolution was developed by campus community members and is jointly proposed by ASUU, the University of Utah Staff Council and the School for Cultural & Social Transformation.


Information and Recommendations Calendar

Kate Charipar, associate athletics director of compliance provided an update on violation, investigation and education data from the 2019-20 academic year. And touched on two nationally significant issues: changes to name, image and likeness legislation and the Alston court case decision.

David Kieda, dean of the Graduate School presented the following: The Graduate School will temporarily modify its Tuition Benefits policies in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on timely graduate student completion. Graduate students in certain disciplines have been delayed in completing their dissertations due to closure/restrictions on research facilities, and students in professional programs have been delayed in completion clinical/practicum requirements. Graduate students with families have been delayed due factors such as child-care availability of child-care, and K-12 on-line course delivery. In addition, some students have been delayed due to the need to take FMLA leave to handle personal health issues. The Graduate School proposes to provide a temporary COVID-91 TBP extension (AY 2020-2021) for graduate students who have been delayed in graduating. This is a petition process. This plan may include changes in scope of the dissertation research project in order to facilitate completion. The Graduate School will be supportive of proposals that assist students to complete their degrees in a timely manner.

New Business

Senate Resolution on DSU Name Change


"Considering that on 12 July 2020 the DSU Faculty Senate passed a resolution requesting that the name of the institution will be changed and that the word 'Dixie' no longer be included (see Appendix).

Considering that the Utah Council of Faculty Senate Leaders on its meeting 13 October 2020 passed a resolution to 'support DSU in its efforts to change its name.'

It is proposed that the University of Utah Academic Senate pass the following resolution in support of our colleagues at DSU.

On behalf of the faculty and students of the U of U, the Academic Senate endorses the efforts of the faculty senate of Dixie State University to pursue changing the name of the institution, in accord with the resolution adopted by the Faculty Senate at DSU."

Appendix: DSU Faculty Senate Resolution

The Faculty Senate hereby resolves that the name of our institution be changed and that the word “Dixie” no longer be included in its name.

As the great entrepreneur and educator Roger W. Babson stated, “I more and more see the need both of courage to stand fast and the willingness to change. Even though these two characteristics seem contrary and paradoxical, a successful life demands a proper mixture of them both. One is the lock and the other is the key; either without the other becomes useless.” Just so, we respectfully and gratefully acknowledge the many alumni, faculty, staff, and community who built this institution, often at great sacrifice, and who contributed to its growth and success. We stand fast to their legacy and many wholesome traditions and practices of our past - the lock. We also express our resolve and commitment to make this important change—the key.

Specifically, we hereby call for our new strategic plan, “Stature to Distinction,” to incorporate an institutional commitment to complete the process of renaming our institution within the 2020-21 academic year.

We believe this change will be of great benefit to our students, faculty, staff, athletic programs and community, and help lead us to a distinguished future.