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Senate Summary | November 2022

If you missed the Academic Senate meeting on Nov. 7, 2022, or need a refresher, then keep reading for the highlights from the meeting. For more information on the Academic Senate, click here.

Information & Recommendation Calendar

Scholarly Journals and the University Libraries

Mark England and Joel Thornton highlighted the recent trends, challenges and options for open-access publishing available to authors at the University of Utah. They also discussed the need for a coordinated campus response to transition more of the University of Utah’s research output to open access cost-effectively.

Graduate Council 7-year Reviews

Katharine Ullman presented the following:

Film and Media Arts

The department has a large undergraduate program, with over 700 majors on our main campus and over 100 on the Asia Campus. They also offer an MFA in which narrative and documentary film are particular strengths. FMA was commended for its leadership and growth, as well as efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion. Recommendations include articulating their strategic plan to underpin efforts for a major renovation among other priorities.

Biomedical Engineering

The department was commended for its well-funded faculty and excellent research climate. Commitment to teaching and training is also evident, with a highly ranked undergraduate major and strong graduate programs. To leverage this success and other institutional strengths, infrastructure to support collaboration and integration across campus between Health Sciences and Biomedical Engineering is needed. The department has also prioritized diversity, equity and inclusion and the development of a diverse pipeline in this discipline.

Retirement and Benefits Policy Updates

Wendy Poppleton, director of benefits for the University of Utah, and Rosemary Norton, HR compliance director for the University of Utah Health Hospitals and Clinics presented the following:

Updates to existing benefit policies for the university. Updating leave policies and rules to expand paid parental leave benefits effective Jan. 1, 2023, expand bereavement leave, add an additional holiday for Juneteenth National Freedom Day and documenting vacation donation. Updates to the phased retirement policy to align policy language with current processes, remove outdated language and add the option for phased retirement through URS. Updating the retiree benefits policy and adding guidelines regarding staff emeritus appointments and retiree benefits available to eligible university retirees.