Minutes of the University Senate Meeting
December 7, 2006
The December meeting of the University Senate was held at 4:05 p.m. on Thursday, December 7, 2006 in Room 7, Gamble Hall. Douglas Munski presided.
The following members of the Senate were present:
The following members of the Senate were absent:
Wilson, H. David
The following announcements were made:
The Chair asked for corrections or additions to the November 2, 2006 minutes. Hearing none, the minutes were approved as distributed.
The question period was opened at 4:12 p.m.
Mr. Picklo thanked President Kupchella for the seed money funding and asked about the status of indirect cost returns. The President indicated that he approved the draft of a letter on December 7th to address the matter.
The question period closed at 4:14 p.m.
Mr. Robertson moved to accept the annual report of the Senate Library Committee. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
Ms. Moen provided some background information on the issue of the diversity and pluralism statement being revised and re-inserted in the 2007-2009 UND Academic Catalog. The statement first was discussed by the Senate in Spring, 2006. At that time, it was tabled and sent back to the Diversity committee. It is now back at Senate after work by the Committee and review by the President. Ms. Moen moved and Mr. Petros seconded to approve the statement.
A question was asked by Mr. Rice regarding the statement on American Indians. Ms. Moen explained that the statement should be included due to the UND mission. Mr. Rice expressed concern that the statement should be strengthened and broadened indicating that the current statement does not reflect the breadth of our commitment to educate American Indian students. Ms. Jeno indicated that there had been a sentence in that regard, but it was separated and located later in the statement. That decision was made to be more inclusive in support of all students. Mr. Petros indicated that the Committee tried to accommodate all students but still mention the mission to American Indians. Mr. Rice made a friendly amendment to re-word the fifth sentence to read, “Of special and particular importance is the University’s longstanding commitment to the education of American Indian students and to the culture and traditions of the American Indian people.” The friendly amendment was accepted and the motion was approved with a vote of 60 for, 1 against and 2 abstentions. (Please see attachment #1.)
Ms. Anderson moved approval of the candidates for degrees in December. The motion was seconded and approved with a vote of 62 for and 1 abstention.
Mr. Robertson moved to accept the Curriculum Committee report. The motion was seconded by Mr. Martindale and approved unanimously.
President Kupchella presented on the move to a smoke-free campus environment.
He explained that UND is establishing itself as a leader in wellness, and the policy would be a move to begin to fund a more comprehensive worksite wellness program and, ultimately, to make the campus tobacco-free.
President Kupchella set the context and presented background on the policy. Currently, we have a no-smoking policy in our buildings; consequently, the question now is the outdoor environment. Enforcement would not be punitive. He stated that it is enough to declare a tobacco-free environment and to support smoking cessation in a variety of approaches. The plan might be phased in with a target implementation date. He opened the floor for questions.
Mr. Poochigan asked about smokeless tobacco and the President said yes it would be included in the ban. Mr. Erickson asked if, as a complement to tobacco free, there might be a policy of alcohol free. President Kupchella said it will be considered. There was a comment regarding the possible loss of students, visitors, and dignitary visits. Another observation was that it could impact a number of students that want to live on campus. Mr. Perkins indicated he was pleased to have the campus pursuing this policy and applauds the measure and hopes we do more. There was a comment regarding the campus becoming intrusive in lives and expanding that intrusiveness to the point where the campus might become hostile. The President indicated that there will be sensitivity to that and the approach will be positive. Another comment was that UND has problems enforcing the smoking policy now. There was a suggestion that there be an identification of problem areas and they could be addressed by deans or other such approaches.
Mr. Jackson moved that the Senate Executive Committee draw up a resolution of support for a smoke-free environment and present it at the January Senate meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Perkins. There was a request by Mr. Haskins to include the suggestion of a phase-in implementation. Mr. Petros indicated that would be done. The motion was approved with a vote of 55 for, 1 against and 4 abstentions.
Ms. Covington presented information on the work of the Maternity Task Force, which is working on a proposed maternity policy update or “biological leave.” She explained that the genesis of the Task Force was from a Council of Deans discussion and the Provost’s decision to establish the Task Force. Mr. Erickson asked about medical leave for other serious illness and Ms. Covington explained that that was not included in the charge of the group but may be a natural progression of a family-friendly leave policy. There was a question of how work will be covered during the leave with extensive discussion of resource impact and impact on other faculty when there are resources lacking. Ms. Potvin shared solutions currently being used in the College of Arts & Sciences. Ms. Burns indicated that there can be planning with early knowledge of a pregnancy. Further comment was that support is needed for those picking up work of those on leave. There was a question as to whether post-doctoral research fellows have been addressed. Ms. Covington indicated that not a lot of discussion had occurred regarding post- docs, residents, and graduate teaching assistants; however, that is planned for future discussion as are other issue. Ms. Campbell commented about the six-week leave and suggested there may be various approaches and flexibility to define that time frame depending on the situation and the area. Ms. Covington indicated that flexibility already exists and Ms. Potvin agreed that flexibility is not prohibited by the policy. Ms. Heitkamp applauded the effort of the Task Force and Ms. Covington indicated that they will continue their work.
The meeting adjourned at 5:25 p.m.
Secretary to the Senate