Faculty senate covers academic affairs polices, committee position openings at meeting


At the final Faculty Senate meeting of the semester on Dec. 12, 2019, several actions regarding funding for academics were passed. 

Alexandria Anderson, Reporter

The Faculty Senate discussed committee updates and revisions to the academic affairs policies at its monthly meeting on Thursday, Oct. 21.

The meeting began with officer reports, starting with Chair Julie Lee, who presented two items for consideration.

The first item suggested changing a meeting from being scheduled during spring break to the following week and was adopted unanimously. The second item requested a change to the faculty website URL in the Senate Charter and was unanimously approved as well.

Janet Applin, vice chair, spoke on filling search committee positions for the Assistant Vice President and Director of Admissions, the Chief Human Resource Officer and the Operating Allocation committee.

“We have three high priority search committees that we need to fill ASAP,” Applin said. “The searches are waiting for the senate representative, and as you all know it’s very important for our voices to be heard on these high level searches.”

Kirk Atkinson, professor of information systems, became the senate representative for the Assistant Vice President and Director of Admissions search committee. Lauren Bland, associate professor on the communication disorders staff, became the senate representative for the Chief Human Resource Officer search committee.

Standing committee reports were then presented, most of which did not have reports at this meeting and will have two reports at next month’s meeting.

The Colonnade General Education Committee brought forth approval of Colonnade applications, which was unanimously approved.

The Faculty Welfare and Professional Responsibilities Committee had no report, but Tisha Jaggers, committee chair, presented survey information from a survey sent to faculty concerning COVID-19 vaccine mandates for faculty at WKU. 

The survey had 463 total responses but only 459 valid ballots. Of the eligible responses, 158 members voted for only a full COVID-19 mandate for all faculty except those medically exempt, 58 voted for only having proof of COVID-19 vaccination or twice weekly testing at faculty member’s expense, 128 voted for both and 115 voted for neither.

Shane Spiller, faculty regent, presented his advisory meeting report. This covered questions from committees, mainly concerning the academic affairs committee and the finance and budget committee, about an emergency line of credit in the Board of Regents Finance and Budget Committee and salary adjustments.

“Every single one of these faculty adjustments has gone through multiple levels of approval, they’re all in the standard operating procedures of the university and the answer is yes,” Spiller said. “There are many different levels of approval on that.”

New business items came from the academic affairs policies. One was revisions to the summer and winter session compensation policy to clarify it for full-time faculty and passed with a majority yes. The other was revisions to the staff teaching assignments policy altering full-time staff teaching assignments and was passed with a yes majority.

News reporter Alexandria Anderson can be reached at [email protected].