BRIEF: Faculty senate set to discuss research, health insurance


Like most groups within the university this week, the WKU faculty senate will meet dependent upon weather announcements.

One major point of order is the creation of an ad hoc research committee “formed to work in parallel with the Research Council to advise Provost Emslie regarding the research mission at WKU,” according to the agenda.

The committee’s creation was in response to the removal of Gordon Baylis, vice president of research. Its first meeting was on Jan. 26 and elected Molly Kerby, assistant professor of diversity and community studies, as vice chair. Art associate professor Kristina Arnold will serve as liaison between the committee and Research Council meetings. 

“Over the next several weeks we will prepare a faculty-driven mission statement with actionable items that are recommended to facilitate research productivity at WKU,” a note by chairman Kevin Williams said. 

The senate will also discuss adjusting awards and recognition for full-time and part-time faculty. 

In order to recognize more faculty members, the Faculty Recognition Committee proposed two new awards — faculty mentoring award and FUSE mentoring award, two new forms of preexisting awards, and one new form of recognition — a study abroad-based award, according to the committee’s agenda.  

The Budget and Finance Committee is also looking to address questions they have for the university’s financial plans, particularly those regarding insurance and faculty compensation.

The committee is requesting “aggregate data on enrollment, costs, benefits paid, and sources of revenue … for the self-insurance program,” the report to University Senate noted. 

The committee is also looking into faculty payment and compensation after Provost Gordon Emslie proposed potential pay raises in December’s faculty senate meeting. 

New business to be discussed on the agenda are policies regarding tuition reimbursement for doctoral degrees, travel registration and course-related field trips.