University senate discusses syllabi changes, new dean

Monica Kast

The university senate approved a Title IX statement to be included on spring semester syllabi and heard reports from the advisory members of the senate at their December meeting.

The Title IX statement, presented by the Faculty Welfare and Professional Responsibility committee, would revise the WKU syllabi policy and “include a mandatory statement of Western Kentucky University’s Title IX Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy in course syllabi,” according to a memorandum submitted to the university senate. 

After discussion about syllabi statement precedents and the best way to distribute Title IX information to students, the policy change was approved. With a friendly amendment to correct a spelling error, thirty senators voted in favor, 15 senators voted against and two senators abstained from voting.

Patti Minter, chair of the Faculty Welfare and Student Responsibility committee, said the statement was created with Andrea Anderson, WKU’s Title IX coordinator.

Additionally, the senate heard reports from faculty regent Barbara Burch and provost David Lee.

Burch said the presidential search committee met with candidates last week and most members of the committee “feel we have a good pool of candidates.”

Burch said she could not say if the search would remain closed, but many of the candidates they have met with have made it known they would prefer a closed search. She said she believes the Board understands many people would like to have some input in the search; however, many of the candidates are contenders for other positions and would prefer not to be named as candidates in the search.

“It would be costly to them,” Burch said. “I have no idea how this will turn out.” 

Lee honored Drue Belcher, an office assistant in the Folk Studies and Anthropology department, who died on Wednesday. He said Belcher died “very suddenly and very unexpectedly.”

“Drue was a significant presence in that department for a long, long time, a charming person, very capable and she is someone who will certainly be missed very much,” Lee said.

Additionally, Lee confirmed Scott Lyons, the director of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport, was named as the next dean of the graduate school. Lyons will take over on January 1, 2017. Lee thanked Eric Reed, the interim dean, for his service in the role.

The senate will meet again on January 19, 2017, for their first meeting of the semester.