University Senate - April 1, 2019 Meeting Minutes

Call to Order and Announcements

The University Senate was called to order at 3:30 p.m., in Room 111 Harrison Hall, Oxford Campus, on Monday, April 1, 2019.  Members absent:  Jasmine Adkins, Kenya Ash, Stacey Lowery Bretz, Bradley Davis, Yildirim Dilek, John Forren, Jannie Kamara, Richard Keifer, Charles Kennick, Vahagn Manukian, Molly O’Donnell, Michel Pactat, Ashley Pool, Breanna Robinson, Caroline Weimer, Liz Wilson, and Andy Zeisler.

  1. Announcements and Remarks by the Secretary of University Senate, Jeffrey Wanko

    1. There was a reminder that Senate meetings are held weekly in April. The April 29, date is tentative.

    2. Senator Mandy Euen has been appointed Miami’s new University Registrar.  Congratulations were extended to Mandy.

Approval of University Senate Minutes

  1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to approve the March 11, 2019, minutes of University Senate.

Consent Calendar

  1. The following items were received on the Consent Calendar without debate: 

    1. International Education Committee Minutes – October 19, 2018

    2. International Education Committee Minutes – November 9, 2018

    3. International Education Committee Minutes – February 28, 2019

    4. Benefits Committee Minutes – February 15, 2019

New Business

  1. Budget Discussion – Dr. David Creamer, Sr. V.P. for Finance and Business Services

    1. Dr. Creamer came to Senate to address questions raised during a previous Senate meeting. The Board of Trustees passed Resolution 2019-14, a new Strategic and Budget Plan, at the December 14, 2018 meeting.  The resolution was initiated based on projections of new revenue streams not being sufficient.  A five-year plan is being developed to make reallocations and reprioritize monies.

    2. Affordability is an issue moving forward. Scholarships need to be identified along with prioritizing teaching and learning outcomes and ensuring integration with curricular and co-curricular initiatives.

    3. Dr. Creamer showed a detailed budget plan, which involves a 1.5% reduction for each division; a 2% reduction for auxiliary units, and a 1% reallocation across departments. Units are being asked to be specific about their plan for the next fiscal year and to outline what they are going to do for the next four years. Each area needs to understand how they are going to address the reductions.

    4. The Resource Centered Management (RCM) model will continue. It is unclear as to whether the control will be with the deans or with the provost.  It will fully be under the control of the academic side.

    5. There were several questions and discussion points addressed:

      1. Have other universities been examined? Yes, although strengths and challenges vary across institutions, and when comparing other universities using RCM, no two use it the same way.  What Miami is seeing is a period of bigger change than we have been through in most of our careers. The goal is to go at a modest pace but maintain the direction of the academic side. 

      2. Are we going to be more budget driven? We are more resource constrained than we have been in the past. We are going to see less money from the state next year, in a year when they are allocating resources.  It was stressed that although we are in unpredictable times, financially strong institutions navigate these times better than non-financially strong institutions.  Miami has reserves to make investments and to help sustain during this time.

      3. There was a concern that departments won’t be incentivized to do thinking and planning that came with RCM. RCM has lead to financial resources and decisions that were made through the lens of a dean.  There needs to be a larger academic plan to ensure resources are going into academic areas where there is going to be growth.

      4. The Board sets broad expectations, but leaves the execution up to the administration. Miami will create and expand programs as appropriate and ensure that resources are reallocated from programs that are low enrolled.  A question was asked whether this will entail dissolution of departments.  This is not intended at this point. This is a complicated question and one that the deans and provost are working through. 

      5. Concern was raised about top-down decision making, and it was asked if the process can be democratic process beginning with the faculty. It was stressed that the Board wants the decisions to occur quickly, and our governance process has to keep up with institution’s needs.

      6. How is the Strategic Planning Committee involved with this process? This committee is determining the direction of the institution without outlining specific details.

      7. What is the impact of this on new buildings? Two new buildings are being considered – health science and innovation.  Although the idea has stemmed from Boldly Creative proposals, no decisions have been made.  It will need to be decided whether they align with the strategic plan.  A concern was raised that mixed messages were being sent regarding the commitment of this amount of money during a time of economic uncertainty. It was noted that some of the space being considered is specialized (e.g. Nursing labs) and will be needed for growth in certain areas.

      8. A question was asked regarding how to get more information on the budget and RCM. David Ellis in Finance and Business Services can assist with questions. Additionally, each division has a budget specialist who can answer questions pertaining to resource allocation at the divisional level.

  2. Ad-Hoc Committee on Composition – Jen Green, Co-Chair (Attachment A-II)

    1. The presentation today is designed to be an overview of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Composition. At this time, there are not any recommendations or conclusions. Jen Green and Kate de Medeiros (Co-Chairs) will be returning April 8, to answer detailed questions about the committee’s findings.  Senators are encouraged to reach out to their constituents and send questions in advance of the meeting.

    2. The first task of the committee was to understand the context of faculty composition. The Office of Institutional Research provided faculty composition data.  The committee was able to examine the numbers of Tenure/Tenure Track (T/TT) faculty, TCPL, and Visiting Faculty within each division.

    3. Department Chairs (14) were individually interviewed to understand how they use various faculty. It was determined that the needs of departments are diverse. Chairs value the work of TCPL faculty to cover teaching and service load, but some chairs were unclear how to advise TCPL on the promotion process. Visiting Instructors were determined to be essential; however, too many create instability.  Some chairs would like the VAPs converted into TCPL positions to better meet the needs of their departments.

    4. TCPLs (22) were also individually interviewed to better understand their role. It was determined they make significant and diverse contributions in teaching and service.  Many are Chief Departmental Advisors and help with program review.  There is a desire to get on committees. It was noted that were different experiences with departmental support and inclusion.

    5. In development is a survey for all full-time faculty to better understand their views regarding faculty composition and departmental needs.

    6. The following clarification questions were asked:

      1. What is the timeline? The Committee will have the final report done by the end of the summer.

      2. Have Visiting Assistant Professors been interviewed? No, not at this time.

      3. How many department chairs who were interviewed were from the regionals? The answer to this will be given next week.

      4. Has the issue of academic freedom been addressed? The committee is working with faculty welfare on this issue. Senator Barr will check with the Chair of Faculty Welfare as to whether they should report to Senate.


  1. Executive Committee Report – Terri Barr, Chair, Senate Executive Committee

    1. It was reported that TCPLs are concerned about getting on committees. If someone is not chosen for a committee, it may be because there are very specific composition needs for that committee. Senators are asked to remind constituents that committees are important in terms of shared governance.  There was a comment regarding the fact that TCPLs may not know what they’re required to do for promotion.  Associate Provost Wanko indicated that the TCPL guidelines will be reviewed at an upcoming associate dean’s meeting.

    2. Senate elections will be held on April 22 due to departmental elections that are still occurring for open Senate seats.  Senators were reminded that two positions for Senate Executive Committee will be elected: Chair-Elect and At-Large.


  1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to adjourn the Regular Session of University Senate.

Next scheduled meeting of University Senate:

April 8, 2019, 3:30 p.m.

Room 111 Harrison Hall, Oxford Campus