University Senate - November 18, 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, November 18, 2019.  Members absent:  Jason Abbitt, Effie Fraley, Antonio Vazquez Lim, Breanna Robinson, Brandon Small, and Don Ucci.

  1. Announcements and Remarks by the Chair of Senate Executive Committee, Dana Cox.
    1. Senator Curme is the Senate liaison to Benefits Committee as well as the Retirement Plan Advisory Committee.  He is asking for feedback about benefits, including any issues with the transition to the new 403B and ARP Plans.

Approval of University Senate Minutes

  1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to approve the October 8, 2018, amended minutes of University Senate and the November 4, 2019, minutes of University Senate. .

Consent Calendar

  1. The following items were received on the Consent Calendar.
    1. Curriculum – approved with the exception of the majors noted below

    2. Annual Review of Probationary Faculty (MUPIM 7.5) – Revision

    3. Proposal to Revise Time Limit Policies

    4. Proposal to Revise Exceptions to Scholastic Regulations Policy

    5. Name change of IMS Department

The Finance and Public Health (KNH) majors were not approved because of insufficient rationale.

New Business

  1. Ad Hoc Committee on Composition – Discussion – Dana Cox – Chair, Senate Executive Committee

    1. Senator Cox started the discussion by indicating that this was a continuation of the discussion from the November 4, meeting and should be limited to the report and recommendations being received. Professor de Medeiros and Senator Green were present for the discussion.

    2. The floor was opened for comments and discussion:

      1. Can the report be changed? No, it is a report Senate is receiving.  There is no action to take.

      2. Within the ad-hoc committee, there was internal discussion over Recommendation 4. The concern at the time was that elimination of the cap before it had been reached may have the effect of reducing the number of tenure/tenure track professors.  The chairs shared that after discussion, consensus on the wording in the report had been reached and that at the time of submission, all members of the committee supported the recommendations. Senators were reminded that the ad-hoc committee was formed because there needed to be an informed set of information regarding faculty composition.

      3. In response to a question about whether or not there was a motion on the floor about potential senate action on Recommendation 4, Senator Cox responded no and that the action phase of the process will start once the report is fully discussed and received. Senators were reminded several times that a proposed resolution was not on the floor and would not be discussed at this time. Senate is to be engaged in the discussion phase, which is focused on the report.

      4. It was expressed several times that the work of the committee is appreciated.

      5. A concern was raised that different divisions have different needs and flexibility is needed. Many T/TT positions have been replaced with TCPL faculty when the nature of the position should have been T/TT, and what is happening is there is nothing to stop it.  The hopes of the ad-hoc committee was to have guidelines in place for a division to have to justify decisions, which would show transparency.  The intent was for faculty to work with their deans

      6. A senator indicated that Recommendation 2 seems ‘disconnected’ in that the first paragraph does not translate to a formal process. Professor de Medeiros stated that in the data gathering process, the Committee determined that there was low morale.  A minimum level of rigor in the hiring process is needed, and department should be thinking about what their process should be.  Some senators wondered whether there was buy-in.

      7. If a cap is lifted, it would be helpful if Senate could provide oversight and review the percentages of T/TT, TCPL, and VAPs yearly. Additionally, it would be important to know how many VAPs are in their fifth year.

  1. SR 20-04 - Committees created during Strategic Planning implementation process

    1. The proposed resolution has been redrafted by Senators Poetter and Pohlhaus. There was open discussion on the floor resulting in the following comments and questions:

      1. There were several comments regarding using the term ‘include’, which may not be practical. There was a friendly amendment to change it to ‘invite’.  Note that this was later changed back to ‘include’ after more discussion.

      2. There was concern about including only faculty senators. There was a friendly amendment to delete the word ‘faculty’ and when expertise is needed, call upon specific senators.  It was noted that the expertise of staff and students is invaluable.  A student senator added that although student senators can change, information can be passed along for continuity.

      3. The intent of this resolution (should this be questioned later) was that efforts should be made to seat two senators on each committee, but to avoid a mandate so as to also allow for cases where that is not feasible. A suggestion was made to also have non-senate committee members come to senate to report and give their perspective.

    2. The question was called, and there was a vote to precede without further discussion. The voice vote carried with 1 nay and 1 abstention.

    3. SR 20-04 passed by voice vote with 1 abstention.

SR 20-04

November 18, 2019

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that the university senate seeks to act proactively in the strategic planning implementation process by requesting that each of the new or repurposed Senate committees tasked with implementing any of the strategic priorities pertaining to curriculum include, ideally, at least 2 senators (at least 1 in their first or second year as a senator) to serve as senate liaisons.  The primary functions of the senate liaisons on the committees are: 1) to share their expertise in the content area foci of the appointed committees and 2) to communicate thoroughly, efficiently, substantively, and in a deliberative way the progress (or not) directly to the senate over the course of each committee’s work.

We also request that, where feasible, committees charged with implementing strategic priorities recommendations pertaining to curriculum contain at least six elected members (one from each academic division).  These elected committee members need not be senators, but if they are senators, they may also serve in the role of senate liaisons.  The primary function of the elected members of committees would be: 1) to share their expertise in the content area foci of the appointed committees and 2) to serve as elected representatives for their divisions who communicate with their divisions their committee's implementations of strategic priorities pertaining to curriculum.

Finally, all committees engaged in the implementation of the strategic priorities goals pertaining to curriculum would operate under the guidance of University Senate Executive Committee, which would work with the committees to organize and execute the work.

Our intent is to operationalize both the spirit and the practice of shared governance, as a leadership body charged with decision-making and communication of Miami’s new directions that emerge from the strategic planning processes of 2018-2019.


  1. TCPL Grandfather Clause - Jason Osborne, Provost

    1. Provost Osborne introduced the updated text for the Grandfather Clause (MUPIM 7.11). The updated language includes a clause that would allow an Assistant TCPL faculty member, who began prior to July 1, 2019, to opt out of the promotion process. The faculty member may then be eligible for one-year appointments.

    2. The floor was opened for discussion, and the following comments and questions were raised:

      1. It was clarified that if an Assistant TCPL would opt-out, they will be eligible to receive, but not entitled to expect, an annual contracts as they did before.

      2. Will those who opt out have to do a Professional Development Plan? No, but it would be encouraged.  There would still be an annual evaluation and reappointment. 

      3. Provost Osborne added that the while we would like people to have a commitment to the University by seeking promotion, this opt-out option was requested.

      4. A senator asked if this this setting up a problem to accommodate a small number of people? Regardless of the number who pursue it, this is a contingency for people who don’t want to do this. This helps with people in different stages of their career.

      5. It was commented that four years is a generous time interval for promotion.

      6. Is the deadline of December 20, 2019, too soon to make this decision? Provost Osborne felt that a month was enough time, many people have been thinking about this already.

      7. A senator agreed that these changes are exactly what TCPL faculty were asking for.

    3. The question was called, and the resolution was put to the floor for a vote.

    4. SR 20-07 unanimously passes by voice vote.

SR 20-07

November 18, 2019

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that University Senate endorse proposed revisions to the Miami University Policy and Information Manual (MUPIM) 7.11, Teaching, Clinical Professors and Lecturers, as set forth below

Grandfather Clause-

All Assistant TCPL faculty members who began teaching at Miami in their current position prior to July 1, 2019 may elect to opt out of this policy. Upon such written election, the Assistant TCPL will be eligible to receive, but not entitled to expect, additional one-year appointments without limitation on the number of years of employment at the Assistant rank but will not be eligible for promotion. Eligible TCPLs have until December 20, 2019 to opt out and such decision is irrevocable.

Assistant TCPLs who began teaching at Miami in their current position  prior to July 1, 2019 who do not opt out of this policy have four academic years before they are required to apply for promotion to the rank of Associate ( i.e. until the 2022-2023 academic year.) With the approval of the department chair, program director (as appropriate), dean and Provost, a TCPL faculty member may credit up to three years of prior Miami service at the Assistant rank toward the four year promotion period.

  1. TCPL cap - Jason Osborne, Provost

    1. A few side considerations for Senators

      1. Provost Osborne provided an update on the new MiamiRise Advisory Committee. Each division will nominate one department chair (College of Arts and Science will nominate two).  Each VP will designate a representative as well.  

      2. There has been more discussion about policies prohibiting faculty-student relationships. Example institutions are:  Duke, Illinois, Cornell, and Penn State.

    2. Faculty trends were discussed. Tenure/Tenure Track faculty numbers were at a low after the recession.  The goal is to be able to meet expanding needs without expanding resources.  Provost Osborne stressed that we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that TCPL faculty help us reach the teacher/scholar goal and should not be considered lessor.  Thoughtful deployment of TCPL helps T/TT faculty fulfill the teacher/scholar model by allocating more workload to research and service.  He stated that this is a diversity and inclusion issue - many of your fellow senators are TCPL faculty.

    3. There are at least 5000 course sections that are offered each semester. We have a fixed budget.  Net revenue from tuition is stable, so there needs to be diversity in our faculty mix.  Faculty are the most expensive resource Miami has.  TCPL faculty come with specialized expertise, have recent experience, connections to industry, and do more service.  The goal is to get the correct mix.

    4. Provost Osborne walked senators through a typical budget calculation that a Dean would have to do. In examining the cost for CAS to decrease reliance on non-permanent faculty by 25% with TCPL faculty.  There are different costs/section associated with T/TT versus TCPL versus VAP, so this is a consideration in a constrained financial environment.  We need to also look at curriculum and use a ‘middle strategy’ of converting VAPs to T/TT or to TCPLs.

    5. Miami is out of line with peer institutions and the cap is preventing divisions from responding to financial situations, preventing shared governance; devaluing TCPL faculty, and limiting flexibility in section sizes.

    6. Increase reliance on VAPs and adjuncts will not increase T/TT lines does not protect shared governance and is financially constraining.

    7. We are close to reaching the 25% cap and the Deans have to submit their hiring plans for 2020-2021 soon. We need to be able to have a thoughtful discussion. Additionally, there are VAPs who have almost reached the five-year limit.

    8. The end of the meeting was reached before discussion could take place. Discussion of this topic and the proposed Resolution will be continued at the December 2, 2019 meeting.


  1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to adjourn the Regular Session of University Senate. The meedting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Next scheduled meeting of University Senate:

December 2, 2019, 3:30 p.m.

Room 111 Harrison Hall, Oxford Campus