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Members of Faculty Senate vote on a issue during their Jan. 9, 2017 meeting. 

Faculty Senate passes resolution to redefine university's cocurricular

Ohio University Faculty Senate met Monday to discuss two resolutions, including updating faculty promotion and tenure requirements and redefining the co-curricular activities.  

OU President Lori Stewart Gonzalez shared updates with the faculty about last week’s Board of Trustee meeting. A space renewal plan for Morton and Bentley Halls was approved. Additionally, two new undergraduate courses --- AI and Cybersecurity Engineering --- were approved. 

“Our campus has $750 million in deferred maintenance," Gonzalez said. “Many of you are in buildings where there's a need for deferred maintenance.”

Gonzalez said the university has a budget of $28.4 million to go toward deferred maintenance, which includes the space renewal in the College of Fine Arts, Siegfried Hall, active learning classrooms and other maintenance updates on the Athens campus.

Of this sum, some money also needs to be designated for the regional campuses. 

Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs shared updates on the ongoing search for Deans in academic colleges. 

The new dean for Honors Tutorial College will be announced soon, and finalists for dean of the Patton College of Education will start appearing for their open forums starting Wednesday. OU’s website lists the dates and provides livestream links to each forum.

As of Friday, an interim policy was passed to delete employment verification as a part of a background check for new faculty members to shorten the duration of these checks. Criminal background checks will be continued. 

“Hopefully, that will speed hiring, especially for adjuncts and international faculty where it was really slowing down,” said Sayrs. 

The Provost has received absence requests from students related to the total solar eclipse happening across Ohio April 8. 

“I'm looking forward to having more discussions about that with the faculty senate executive committee and hearing where people are on that,” said Sayrs.

Professor and Director of the Astrophysics Institute, Douglas Clowe, also requested that the date of the faculty senate in April, which is on the date of the eclipse, be delayed. 

Faculty Senate discussed the second reading of the resolution regarding the definition of co-curricular activities. The University Curriculum Council will come up with a new definition for co-curriculars, and they will be subject to Higher Learning Commission standards.

The resolution passed. 

There was also a discussion about a resolution that would grant students excused absences for taking themselves or someone else to the doctor. 

The resolution has broad wording to remind students their absence can be excused to give care to anyone whom they are responsible for. 

However, the resolution was only on its first reading, so it could not be passed at this meeting. 

The Senate ended last month’s meeting with the resolution to change university-level promotion and/or tenure requirements. *The resolution was on its second reading, but it was tabled to adjust the wording.


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