Grand Valley State University

Highlight of ECS Meeting of April 1 and
Preview of UAS Meeting of April 8

In an effort to improve communication between ECS/UAS and faculty colleagues, the Executive Committee of the Senate (ECS) at its August 12, 2021 retreat recommended that each week, a general message will be sent out to all faculty. This message will highlight the immediate past ECS/UAS meeting and give a preview of the upcoming ECS/UAS meeting. In particular, the highlight will summarize the key agenda items and provide context on the key votes; the pros and cons will be summarized and the key arguments for each highlighted. Herein are the highlights of the ECS meeting of April 1, 2022 and a preview of the UAS meeting of April 8, 2022. Meetings of the ECS are restricted to members of the ECS, their alternates, and others whom the ECS may invite, pursuant to SG Meetings of the UAS are open pursuant to SG
Highlights of ECS Meeting April 1, 2022 
Chair’s Report:
  • The theme of the 2021-2022 UAS Newsletter is Adapting to Change and Reaching Higher Together. ECS/UAS Chair’s Year-End Report will be included in the UAS Newsletter that will be published on April 22. Year-End Reports from the Standing Committees of the Senate plus the University Governance Committees (AFAC and LIFT-MC) are due on or before Monday, April 25.
  • Elections for Chair and Vice Chair of ECS/UAS will be held on Friday, April 22. The New Senate for the 2022-2023 AY will be welcomed on April 22 at ECS (3:00-4:00 pm) and UAS (4:00-5:00 pm).
  • UAS meets next on April 8.
Provost’s Report:
  • CHP and KCON Dean Searches: The searches are underway.
  • Provost’s Cabinet: Provost’s Cabinet consists of Deans, Vice Provosts, and AVPs who are part of the Provost’s Office. They meet Tuesday mornings from 9-11. They have been working on the following:
       - Strategic planning for the Division of Academic Affairs
       - A unified approach to retention efforts across the division
       - Hiring projections over the next 6-8 years
  • Course Releases: A question was asked regarding whether course releases have been examined. Over the last 1-1.5 years, much of the budget reduction effort related to the use of course releases and equity across units and colleges. The number of course releases has decreased over the past two years, and continuous efforts should be made to ensure consistency of course release allocation.
Student Senate President’s Report:
  • Student Senate election results were announced Monday April 4.
  • Student Senate President and the Student Senate VP for Diversity Affairs attended a summit on Campus Dining.
  • The Student Senate hosted a panel discussion on shared governance and thanked Interim Provost Plouff and ECS/UAS Chair Ngassa for attending.
  • The Student Senate hosted a non-partisan leadership with ElectHer
  • ECS members shared that they were impressed with the Student Senators who presented their resolutions last week.
New Business:
  • Competency-Based Education (CBE): Vice Provost for Graduate and Lifetime Learning Kara Van Dam presented on competency-based education. There are thoughts on having a GVSU CBE Incubator, that would seek state funding to support training and resourcing of faculty to design GVSU’s CBE model and methods and develop a portfolio of competency-based stackable microcredentials.
  • General Education Committee (GEC) Memo on Teaching about Systemic Racism: Motion to support with recommendation to UAS passed with 12 yes, 1 no, 1 abstain.
  • Faculty Personnel Policy Committee (FPPC) Memo on Parental Leave: This is interpretation of official policy that should be put into the faculty handbook. Motion to support with recommendation to UAS passed with 13 yes, 1 no, 0 abstain.
  • Student Learning Issues and Implications for Faculty Evaluations: Students are having difficulty transitioning from online learning to in-person learning and faculty are concerned. Motion to table this discussion until the ECS retreat supported 100%.
  • Discussion on Student Evaluations and Peer Evaluations: There has been miscommunication about where the process of revising the evaluation of teaching is versus where people think it is; that is, the process is still being developed whereas there is a perception that it has been finalized already. No one aims to silence student voices, it is recognized that student perceptions of teaching are important, but it is necessary to use the data from student evaluations appropriately. In addition, it is important for us to follow our policies as stipulated in BOT 4.2.9.A, which clearly articulates that “effective teaching should be documented by: (a) self-evaluation, (b) peer evaluation, and (c) student evaluations.
 For more details on the above items, please go here.
 Preview of UAS Meeting of April 8, 2022
  • University Budget Presentation
  • Discussion on FTIAC Residency Requirement
  • Faculty Personnel Policy Committee (FPPC) Memo on LIFT Charge
  • FPPC Memo on Parental Leave for Faculty
  • Faculty Facilities Planning Advisory Committee (FFPAC) Memo on Formal Report Review
  • FFPAC Memo on Leadership and Succession Planning
  • General Education Committee (GEC) Memo on Teaching About Systemic Racism
  • University Curriculum Committee (UCC) Memo on Representation by College
  • UCC Memo on Leadership and Succession Planning
  • Student Senate Resolution to Create a Safety Barrier on the Little Mac Bridge
  • Student Senate Resolution on Printing the Suicide Prevention Hotline Number on Student ID Cards
Please, feel free to reach out to your ECS or UAS representative from your College/University Libraries to provide input on any ECS agenda item that you may like to weigh in on. 
Thank you for your continuous interest in faculty governance.
Felix N. Ngassa
Chair of ECS/UAS 2021-2022

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