University Senate

Meeting 572 Minutes

The University Senate
of Michigan Technological University

Minutes of Meeting 572
20 January 2016

PDF version of Minutes 572

Senate minutes are time-indexed [in square brackets] to the relevant segments of the streaming video of the meeting.


The Senate

  • Proposal 7-16: “Amending the Senate Procedure 506.1.1, Evaluation Procedure for Department Chairs and School Deans” was amended and deferred to next meeting 

1. Call to order and roll call. [00:00 – 02:25]

President Brian Barkdoll called the University Senate Meeting 572 to order at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, January 20, 2016. The Senate Secretary Marty Thompson called roll. Absent were Senators Oliveira and Cai and representatives of Army/Air Force ROTC, Biomedical Engineering,  Materials Science and Engineering, Administration, Auxiliaries, Graduate Faculty Council, Staff Council and Undergraduate Student Government. 

2. Recognition of visitors. Guests included Theresa Coleman-Kaiser (Administration), Anne Beffel (Visual and Performing Arts), Kerri Sleeman (Facilities), Ginger Sleeman (Human Resources), Bonnie Gorman (Dean of Students Office) and Jacqueline Huntoon (Provost’s Office).

3. Approval of agenda. [02:26 – 05:28]

Barkdoll moved to remove item #5 from the agenda. Wood seconded. The revision passed unanimously on a voice vote.

Barkdoll asked for approval of the revised agenda. The revised agenda passed unanimously on a voice vote.                                                                                                                                          

4. Approval of minutes from Meeting 571. [05:29 – 06:09]

Wellstead moved to approve. Toorongian seconded. The minutes passed unanimously on a voice vote. 

5. President’s Report [06:10 – 9:34]

President Brian Barkdoll described the Senate self-evaluation. The evaluation is to occur every other year. Last year it was not done. The question of whether to complete it this year or simply do it next year, as scheduled. Discussion. 

Proposal 6-16: “Proposal to Shelve Degree Program: Undergraduate Certificate in International Sustainable Development Engineering” approved by administration. Status of all proposals on senate website. 

Forum on University Finances will be held February 4th from 11am to 2pm in Dow 64. 

Met with Board of Trustees before the Christmas Break. Topics discussed were the classroom environment and the procedure for choosing a new university president. 

6. Reports from Senate Standing Committees   [9:35 – 21:44]

Academic and Instructional Policy Committee. None. 

Administrative Policy Committee.  Working on the design of the survey for the university president. Proposal regarding interim chairs is being discussed. Senate self-evaluation was not performed last year as required. The decision to do it this year alongside the presidential survey or perform the self-evaluation next year is being discussed. 

Curricular Policy Committee. None. 

Elections Committee.  None. 

Finance & Institutional Planning Committee.  Met with provost and the vice-president for research to discuss the university financial data to be presented at the senate sponsored forum on university finances. 

Fringe Benefits Committee. Waiting for an administrative response to Proposal 3-16. Proposal 9-16 revised and introduced as a new proposal. Reviewing TRIP benefit as an incentive to retain top faculty and staff. Working on a report comparing retirement benefits at peer institutions. Parental leave proposal under examination. 

General Education and Assessment Committee. There is a new associate provost for assessment, Jean Kampe former chair of Engineering Fundamentals. 

Information Technology Committee.  None. 

Professional Staff Policy Committee.  None. 

Research Policy Committee.  None. 

7. Unfinished Business [21:45 – 1:01:09]

a. Proposal 7-16: Amending the Senate Procedure 506.1.1, Evaluation Procedure for Department Chairs and School Deans  

Nooshabadi, Administrative Policy Committee, moved to approve the proposal. Discussion. 

Plummer moved to amend the proposal under Section XV adding an Item f, which reads, “a confidential appendix is allowed that is not shared with the department to document. Appendix included with final report to president.” Nooshabadi seconded. Discussion. The amendment passed unanimously on a voice vote. 

Kedmon moved to amend Section II, by adding the language to prevent a review within the first year. Wanless seconded. Discussion. The amendment passed by majority [12 yea, 9 nay] vote. 

The changes are substantial. The proposal will appear as unfinished business next meeting.

8. New Business [1:01:10 – 1:23:06]

a. Proposal 9-16: Reducing Deductibles and Out of Pocket Maximums on Michigan Tech's Healthcare-Insurance Plans

Fringe Benefit Committee, Waddell described the rationale for the proposal. Since 2012, deductibles on the PPO doubled and the copays for many items was increased from 10% to 35%. The deductibles on the HDHP also increased in a comparable fashion during this time. Hence, between 2011 and 2014, the total deductibles collected from employees increased by $815,910 at a time when the actual expenditures have decreased. This proposal is a recommendation to decrease or relieve the financial burden that is being shifted onto the employees. The recommended change is to lower the deductibles. No discussion. 

b. Proposal 10-16: Rationalization of Senate Procedures on the Selection/Election of Membership of Various Committees

This proposal comes from the Administrative Policy Committee. Nooshabadi discussed the proposal. The Senate is responsible for running the elections for the membership of the various university wide committees that have been established through senate proposals/policies/procedures developed over the years. The method of the election, eligibility, composition and duration of the membership of committees are widely different from each other. The purpose of this proposal is to bring the relevant procedures relating to the selection of membership of these committee, as far as it makes sense, into a common format. Discussion. 

c. Proposal 11-16: Amending Senate Procedure 503.1.1, Evaluation Procedure for the President

This revised proposal comes from the Administrative Policy Committee. Nooshabadi discussed the specific revisions to the proposal. No discussion. 

d. Proposal on the formation of a Senate ad-hoc committee to review the Senate Constitution and Bylaws

Nooshabadi moved to approve a proposal on the formation of a senate ad-hoc committee with the purpose of reviewing the Senate Constitution and Bylaws.

                Wood moved to table until next meeting. Wanless seconded. The amendment passed by majority vote. 

9. Public Comments [1:23:07 – 1:26:00]

Waddell asked if individual senators can bring proposals directly to the senate. Froese said that this is not a proposal, but a request to form an ad hoc committee which could potentially bring forward a proposal at a future time. Discussion. 

10. Adjournment

Hamlin moved to adjourn. President Barkdoll adjourned the meeting at 6:56 pm.


Respectfully submitted
by Marty Thompson
Secretary of the University Senate