University Senate officers reappointed, committees read reports

Monica Kast

The University Senate met on Thursday to elect senate officers for 2016-2017 and hear from the senate committees.

The University Senate heard reports from Faculty Regent Barbara Burch and Provost David Lee. Burch gave a report of the latest Board of Regents committee meeting, where a pathways program and faculty contracts were discussed.

“There’s value to having a pathways program,” Burch said during her report. “Whether we can have one and operate it profitably remains to be seen.”

The pathways program would operate in place of NAVITAS, whose contract was terminated earlier this year. A pathways program would serve to assist international students at WKU.

Burch also mentioned that the contracts for football coach Jeff Brohm and athletic director Todd Stewart were discussed in a closed session.

Lee gave an update on the state budget. At that time, the budget for Kentucky had not been decided, and Lee said he thought the state would be nearing a decision.

“It doesn’t quite ever seem to be over, but it should be getting close,” Lee said.

The Faculty Welfare and Professional Responsibilities Committee also presented a report for approval. One aspect of the report, presented by Patti Minter, was a Title IX report and list of Title IX Best Practices, which the committee compiled to help faculty who might need to report items falling under Title IX.

Several faculty members raised concerns about confidentiality when it came to Title IX issues as well as questions about how the Title IX process differs for minors on campus.

At the end of the report, Minter said she was glad the concerns about minors were brought up considering the presence of Gatton Academy on campus.

“I’d be delighted to amend the report to include minors,” Minter said at the meeting.

After all reports were given, the at-large senators for 2015-2016 were dismissed, and the senators for 2016-2017 voted for the University Senate officers.

Three senate officers who served on the 2015-2016 senate were re-elected to occupy the same positions in the 2016-2017 senate: Kate Hudepohl as chairwoman, Julia Shadoan as vice chairwoman and Heidi Alvarez as secretary.

After the officers were elected, the at-large senators for 2016-2017 conducted a caucus for standing committee memberships for next year.

The University Senate will have one more meeting before the end of the semester on May 12.