What Every Faculty Member Should Know

Once a month, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee sends out a broadcast email to all LSU faculty members on highlighted news and events for that month. The broadcast email can also be read here. If you do not receive emails from the Faculty Senate but would like to be added to the Faculty Senate email list, please email facultysenate@lsu.edu.

What Every Faculty Member Should Know 

(From the February 20, 2024, Faculty Senate Meeting)

 

Notable points from the report of President Bazayev:       

Amendments to the ORP/TRSL Bill:

Following the resolutions passed by the Faculty and Staff Senates at LSU A&M, a bill has been filed in the Louisiana legislature allowing a one-time switch from ORP to TRSL. Faculty Senate leadership is working with the LSU administration to bring amendments to the bill.

Parental Leave:

As of this date, LSU is yet to implement revisions to parental leave policy which were supposed to be active from Jan 1, 2024. 

Grammarly:

ITS requested Faculty Senate for feedback on the purchase of Grammarly. After feedback from the ad hoc FS IT committee and FSEC, licensing to this software, without the AI option, will soon be available to all faculty and staff. Due to the impact on the academic mission of our university, access for students needs a wider consultation with faculty in different units.

New Policy on Remote Participation in Graduate Defenses:

The Pinkie Gordon Lane Graduate School strongly recommends all Masters and Doctoral defenses to be in person, however remote participation is possible if advisory committee finds it necessary.

Faculty Council Meeting:

This meeting will take place on April 22 at 3 pm in the Royal Cotillion Ballroom in the LSU Student Union.

 

Graduate School “I” Grade Policy Change Proposal:

The proposal recommended that both online and on-campus graduate courses be subject to the same period to resolve the “I” grade. After extensive discussions, the Faculty Senate voted to table the motion. 

 

Concentrated Study Period Change Proposal:

This proposal arising from the Student Government proposed a seven-day period during the fall and spring semesters immediately preceding the week of final examinations to be set aside as a concentrated study period. Senators discussed the history of revisions of this period, and the way the current proposal potentially affects classes and assignments. After an extensive discussion, Faculty Senators voted to reject the proposal.

 

Presentations on Campus Safety:

CJ Avory, Associate Director, Office of Emergency Preparedness summarized key purposes and procedures of the LSU Office of Emergency Preparedness. Its purposes include emergency planning, risk assessment and conducting regular drills and exercises.

Marshall Walters, Interim Chief of Police gave a presentation on LSU Police Department. It has fifty-five commissioned officers who have mandatory annual training. The department operates 24/7, 365 days a year and includes a K9 division, detectives, Patrol Support Services and Tiger Patrol. 

 

Presentation on Workday Student:

Clay Benton, University Registrar; Robin Ethridge, Executive Director of Enterprise Architecture; and Ryan Landry, Assistant Vice Provost for Policy & Administration, presented extensive updates on Workday Student. While some of the features are scheduled to appear in Fall 2024, all the features are expected to be released in Fall 2025 for LSU A&M campus.

What Every Faculty Member Should Know 

(From the January 24, 2024 Faculty Senate Meeting)

 

Notable points from the report of President Bazayev:       

Meeting with LSU President Tate on Engagement:

Following LSU’s announcement on January 5th on renaming of the office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, President Bazayev, Vice President Tirone and Secretary Singh discussed Engagement with LSU President Tate in a long productive meeting on January 9th. President Tate assured that renaming of the above office will not change anything in the educational mission and research on any topic.  

Report from the Board of Supervisors Meeting:

President Bazayev and Vice-President Tirone attended this meeting in New Orleans on Dec 8th. President Bazayev emphasized the importance of new Parental Leave policy, regular faculty raises and significance of the role of humanities in a flagship university. 

Student Attendance:

To address faculty concerns on student attendance, Faculty Senate is working with Student Government to design a survey to understand underlying issues. 

Bill to allow one time switch from ORP to TRSL:

Following a resolution passed in the Nov 29th Faculty Senate meeting, state legislature is expected to soon act on a bill allowing those enrolled in ORP to make a one-time switch to TRSL.

College Policies:

Faculty Senate requests all faculty to be aware of their unit’s bylaws and policies. Your awareness of these is important for shared governance.

 

Presentation on Faculty Survey on Education Technology:

Vice Provost Jackie Bach, Secretary Param Singh and Chief Information Officer Craig Woolley gave a presentation on the progress of this survey. This is jointly developed by Faculty Senate, ITS and the Office of Academic Affairs with inputs from ad hoc Faculty Senate IT committee and EdTech subcommittee of ITGC. The survey will be launched soon and will have incentives for all, and a chance to win a (department-owned) Dell laptop. A raffle will take place at the Faculty Council Meeting on April 22. Look out for the survey invitation in the beginning of February from Vice Provost Jackie Bach.

 

Presentation on SACSCOC update Geaux Communicate:

Senior Vice Provost Jane Cassidy updated on the timeline of SACSCOC reaccreditation process. Faculty Chair, Communication across the Curriculum Jennifer Baumgartner presented details of Geaux Communicate at LSU which centers on communication-intensive classes and learning support services. In the previous academic year 320 faculty taught these courses.

 

Presentation by LSU President William Tate and Vice President of Engagement, Civil Rights & Title IX Todd Manuel on Engagement:

LSU President Tate thanked Faculty Senate leadership for its prominent role in being a fearless voice for faculty and active and productive engagement with LSU administration. In a long, candid, and engaging discussion, several senators asked various questions on renaming of the above office. News articles covering this discussion appeared in the Advocate and LSU Reveille. President Tate and Vice President Manuel’s presentation can be viewed from this link starting from 32 minutes and 40 seconds in the video. 

What Every Faculty Member Should Know 

(From the November 29, 2023 Faculty Senate Meeting)

 

Notable points from the report of President Bazayev:       

Parental Leave:

LSU will be implementing parental leave for faculty and staff starting Jan 1, 2024.

Faculty Council Meeting:

This meeting is scheduled for April 22 at 3 pm. A committee has been set up to plan the agenda in consultation with President Tate’s office and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.

Town Hall with the Provost:

Following the success of last year’s Provost’s Town Hall, Provost Haggerty will host another one on Feb 2 at 2 pm.

 

Address of LSU President William F. Tate IV:

In an extensive address, President Tate discussed several points including enrollment and retention, new library, state tax policy and tenure protection. He praised faculty for playing an important role in LSU’s success highlighting a recent public survey which reflects an extremely favorable view of the LSU faculty. Louisiana Illuminator covered the address of President Tate, which can be seen for more details.

 

Resolution 23-05:

This resolution to Pursue Legislative Changes that Remove the Irrevocability of Optional Retirement Plan Enrollment sponsored by Faculty Senate Benefits Committee was passed by the Faculty Senate in a unanimous vote. The presentation by Roy Heidelberg explained the way this resolution jointly sponsored by the Faculty and Staff senates will allow a one-time exception to rejoin TRSL. There will not be a fiscal note involved in implementing this policy.

 

Presentation on Faculty Survey on Education Technology:

A faculty led survey jointly designed and sponsored by the Faculty Senate, ITS and the Office of Academic Affairs is in development and expected to be available in the Spring semester. Vice Provost Jackie Bach, Secretary Param Singh and Chief Information Officer Craig Woolley gave a presentation. There will be incentives allowing for a wider participation.

 

Presentation on Parental Leave Policy:

Assistant Vice President HRM Nikki Norton discussed upcoming changes to PM-12 and PS-20 allowing six weeks of paid parental leave. There are also changes made to the Crisis Leave Program allowing six additional weeks of paid leave.

What Every Faculty Member Should Know 

(From the November 2nd Faculty Senate Meeting)

 

Notable points from the report of President Bazayev:       

Highlighting Faculty Achievements:

Vice-President Tirone in his report as a CoFA alternate representative highlighted various achievements of faculty members from across the campus at the meeting of the Board of Supervisors. Tirone also noted a strongly favorable perception of faculty by Louisiana residents as indicated by a public survey.  

Academic Freedom and Tenure Protection:

In her visit to SEC Leadership Program, Bazayev met various faculty members from universities in Florida and Texas who expressed concerns on academic freedom and tenure protection. While our state has so far not been affected, Faculty Senate leadership and LSU administration are committed to addressing any such concerns. 

 

Election to Faculty Appeals Board:

Priscilla Allen was elected unopposed to the Faculty Appeals Board. 

 

Presentation on Faculty Appeals Board:

Chair Chad Seifried talked about role of this committee. Senators discussed areas of improvement in the committee’s charge and procedures.

 

Presentation on Faculty Adjudication Committee:

Chair Blake Howe gave a detailed presentation on the role and procedures of this committee and how it protects faculty interests.

What Every Faculty Member Should Know 

(From the October Faculty Senate Meeting) 

 

Notable points from the report of President Bazayev: 

Improving Students’ Experiences and Retention:

To address ongoing issues with student retention and problems faced by incoming students in enrollment, discussions are being carried out with Enrollment Management. A committee co-chaired by Vice Provost Jackie Bach and FS President Bazayev is being formed to facilitate these discussions and suggest improvements. 


Graduate Student Evaluations:

FSEC met Associate Dean of the Pinkie Gordon Lane Graduate School Carol Wicks on 9/25/23 to discuss graduate student evaluations required by PS-21 and raised various faculty concerns.

 
Luncheon for Chairs of Standing Committees:

A lunch meeting was organized for the Chairs of Standing Committees on 10/3/23 which was attended by a dozen chairs and FSEC members. President Bazayev discussed operating procedures and Secretary Singh discussed guidance on minutes of the meetings from Robert’s Rules. 

 

Elections to Standing Committees:

Faculty Senate elected Robert Cook, Dana Hollie and J. Michael Martinez to the Budget and Planning advisory Committee, Jeanne Donaldson and Mayank Tyagi to the Faculty Adjudication Committee, and Grace Barry, Gabriella Lindsay, Marcio de Queiroz, James Sauls and Chad Seifried to the Faculty Appeals Board. 

 

Proposed Revision of PS-36T:

Office of Academic Affairs reached out to FSEC for help in revising PS-36T to address inconsistencies in online teaching of courses. Vice President Tirone gave a presentation on this matter. The question of how to incorporate online teaching in PS-36T and PS-36NT was referred to the Policy Committee and they were asked to provide recommendations by early Spring. The committee anticipates participation of the Office of Academic Affairs and LSU Online faculty. 

 

Syllabus Database:

Student Government has been working on updating and expanding the database of syllabuses of all the courses. Calvin Feldt from the Student Government gave a presentation on this topic and highlighted Simple Syllabus as one possible option. Senators gave detailed feedback on ways to proceed forward and potential issues. A joint committee of Faculty Senate and Student Government will be meeting to discuss the matter further. 

What Every Faculty Member Should Know 

(From the September Faculty Senate Meeting)

 

Notable points from the report of President Bazayev

Board of Supervisors Meeting:

As the LSU A&M representative and the Chair of the Council of Faculty advisors, Bazayev presented a report from LSU A&M emphasizing the stigma of double censures on LSU by AAUP and how it undermines the Scholarship First agenda. Plans to revoke these censures are in progress.

Graduate Student Evaluation:

PS-21 requires that graduate assistants are evaluated every semester. The Pinkie Gordon Lane Graduate school sent an email to all faculty in August. Depending on the kind of assistantship, duties and the stage of the program, a graduate assistant might need evaluation from multiple faculty members. FSEC is in touch with the Graduate School for more clarifications.    

Faculty Senate Committee Appointments:

The Faculty Senate has various standing and ad hoc committees which are vital to the shared governance at LSU. If you are interested in serving on any of these committees, please reach out to your faculty senator.

 

Resolution 23-04:

Sponsors withdrew this motion given that Provost’s office has allocated additional funding to raise the salaries of instructors in Humanities and Social Sciences.

 

Member-at-large election for FSEC:

Michelle Osborn was elected as a member-at-large of FSEC. Osborn is a first-time senator from the Vet school.

 

Guidance on Meeting Minutes and Robert’s Rules:

Vice President Tirone gave a presentation on how to make minutes of the meetings using Robert’s rules. Faculty Senate, FSEC and various other committees have now switched to these guidelines. 

 

IT Policy Revisions:

Chair of the ad hoc FS IT committee (Singh) gave a status update on the revision of IT policies. He emphasized the role of a very productive collaboration between faculty and ITS in alleviating various earlier concerns in the policies revised so far – PS-120, PS-121, PS-122, PS-124 and PS-126. The committee meets weekly to continue working on remaining policies.

 

Research Security Implications of NSPM-33, CHIPS and Science act, and HEFSA 22:

National security Policy Memorandum (NSPM) 33 aims to protect Federally funded research activities from foreign interference. The CHIPS and Science act has the primary objective to boost semiconductor capacity of the USA and train the STEM workforce for this process. Louisiana’s Higher Education Foreign Security Act of 2022 requires institutions of higher education to enact policies screening foreign researchers, foreign travel, and gift reporting. Associate Vice President and Associate Research Integrity Officer Steve Beck presented details on potential effects of these policies and acts on the research infrastructure at LSU. A coordinating committee composed of faculty, staff and admin would work on implementing various recommendations. The deadline for meeting compliance is early fall 2024.

What Every Faculty Member Should Know


Notable points from the report of President Bazayev

Ad hoc FS IT committee:

LSU is going through an extensive change in IT policies. A productive collaboration between faculty and ITS in the FS IT committee completed a detailed review and revision of 4 policies: PS-120, PS-121, PS-124 and PS-126 and associated standards by meeting 16 times during summer. The committee continues to meet weekly to complete a review of remaining policies.

Tiger trails:

Lack of sufficient demand led the Parking Office to curtail the Garden District Tiger Trails. Various graduate students and faculty members reached out to President Bazayev for help who discussed the issue with the Director of Parking and Transportation Services Brian Favela. The route has been reinstated through the fall semester. 

SACSCOC Reaccreditation & Faculty Handbook:

The Faculty Senate Executive Committee helped in the revision of the Faculty Handbook as a part of the SACSCOC Reaccreditation process.

College Policy Committees:

Your College policy committee plays an important role in the functioning of your unit. Please know your representative and discuss any inputs on policy matters and compliance.  

A Time of Crisis and Opportunity:

With growing threats to academic freedom and tenure in our country, the role of Faculty Senate and the value of shared governance has become more important. This crisis can be overcome by strengthening the faculty voices, revising policies threatening tenure and addressing faculty concerns including compensation and salary inversion. In addition, LSU is currently under double censure by the AAUP. To overcome this blot on the flagship institution of Louisiana, Faculty Senate leadership is working with the AAUP and Office of Academic Affairs to strengthen policies on academic freedom and due process to overcome these censures.

 

Provost’s Welcome Address:

In his welcome address Provost Haggerty discussed at length novel developments in AI and the role of ChatGPT. He mentioned three main issues: ethical considerations and academic integrity, availability of skilled users for AI, and data security and structuring. He discussed the way practical applications with ChatGPT can increase efficiency at LSU. Provost Haggerty has approached the Faculty Senate leadership for help in constituting AI courses for STEM as well as non-STEM majors. 

 

SACSCOC reaccreditation:

Senior Vice Provost Jane Cassidy presented a timeline on SACSCOC reaccreditation. There are 74 standards under revision. The compliance report is due in Sep 2023. After off-site reviews, first recommendations are expected in Dec 2023 with a final report due in January 2024. Distinguished sociologist Teresa Sullivan will chair the on-site visit review committee in April 2024. Results will be available in Dec 2024.

 

Resolution 23­–04:

This resolution was introduced in April 2023 meeting to raise the issue of exceptionally low salaries of the instructors in Humanities and Social Sciences. Given that additional funds amounting to over $400k have been allocated for this purpose, the second reading of this resolution was postponed to the September meeting. 

 

AI and academic integrity:

Vice President for Student Affairs Brandon Common and Director of Student Advocacy and Accountability Jonathan Sanders gave a presentation on AI and academic integrity. Discussion focused on challenges and risks imposed by generative AI in academic learning, how to prevent any academic misconduct in the courses and whether AI detection tools can be reliably used in the process. In the period since spring of 2022, there has been a significant increase of 486% in the cases where students have misrepresented work. However, the increase in false positives is also high in the same period (436%). Current AI detection tools tend to yield false positives more frequently in technical materials. A toolkit has been made available on the SAA website for guidance on how to approach the use of AI, including sample statements for the syllabus and reporting information. 

LA Senate Bill 174 (on restricting tenure)

Faculty Senate President Inessa Bazayev and Vice President Daniel Tirone, as well as representatives from other state universities, met with the bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Stewart Cathey, earlier this month and communicated to him the fact that LSU has grave concerns about the bill. LSU President Tate has made it clear that defeating this bill is a top priority for LSU’s administration. 

IT Policy concerns

According to Craig Woolley, ITS Chief Information Officer, ITS is now updating the 10-year-old “Policies” (high-level, hard to modify) and “Standards” (easier to modify, constantly in process) that regulate faculty’s computer use and online involvement.  Policy Process:

  • ITS drafts the new Policy and/or Standard.
  • ITS’s Department Subcommittee (includes 1 representative from every college and unit), ITS’s Research Technology Subcommittee (includes 11 faculty members, chaired by Stephen Beck), and the newly formed Faculty Senate IT Committee (includes 11 faculty members, chaired by Parampreet Singh) then review the draft and suggest modifications.* 
  • ITS reviews the feedback from these groups, modifies the Policy/Standard accordingly, and submits it for review to the IT Governance Council (2 of the 13 voting members = faculty).
  • The finalized Policy/Standard is submitted to Academic Affairs for the Provost’s review and approval.

 * The Faculty Senate IT Committee needs 4 more members. Anyone interested in joining should contact the committee chair Parampreet Singh. The committee is especially in need of representatives from LSU Online and from HSS.

Things to note: 

  • The basic philosophy behind these revisions is to keep LSU’s IT safe while at the same time acknowledging that no one-size-fits-all policy will work and that frequently faculty will need exceptions to the Standards. ITS is working to streamline the procedure for requesting such exceptions.
  • Many external bodies (including grant agencies) have specific IT requirements that LSU must meet and many of the “new” Policies codify existing practices.
  • The IT Governance Council will be voting on 14 new Policies/Standards on May 3.
  • The consensus of the Senate was that the membership of the IT Governance Council should be reviewed and faculty representation strengthened. 

Resolution 23-04, “Proposed Increase to Faculty Instructor Salaries in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences”

Sponsored by four Faculty Senators and every department and section head in HSS, this resolution calls for raises for all instructors in HSS to make their salaries commensurate with state and regional averages. HSS instructors, who teach courses that are required of all undergraduate students to graduate from LSU (including composition, foreign language, and humanities and social science General Education/ILC), receive a starting salary of $36,500—an income that is below both the per capita income ($50,037 in 2020) of Louisiana as well as the median household income ($51,707 in 2019), and that does not meet the U.S. State Department’s minimum income requirement for a work visa. The Senate voted to refer the resolution back to the FSEC, and asked the resolution sponsors and the FSEC to work together to refine the data presented in the resolution, as well as to set the issue of HSS instructors’ salaries under the umbrella of a larger LSU faculty salary discussion.

Faculty Senate Executive Council, 2023-2024

The Faculty Senate elected Inessa Bazayev (MDA) President, Daniel Tirone (HSS) as Vice-President, Parampreet Singh (Science) as Secretary, and two Members-at-Large: Kyla Kazuschyk (MDA) and Kevin Ringelman (Ag.) A third Member-at-Large will be elected from the incoming senators in the fall.

Faculty Council meeting

Because the faculty failed to meet quorum, the Council was not able to vote on the new Faculty Senate constitution; hence, the 2005 constitution remains in effect. 

Committee opportunities

The new Faculty Senate Committee on Committees is up and running, under the leadership of Louay Mohammad. The C on C will be working to fill many vacancies on FS committees for fall, 2023. If you are willing to serve, please contact Prof. Mohammad. 

Faculty Senate By-laws

The Senate approved revisions to its By-laws to make Senate procedures consistent with open meeting laws, to clarify the terms of the FS officers, and to establish procedures for unexpected vacancies and for changing the By-laws.

Heterodox Academy

Led by James Stoner (Poli Sci), Samuel Snow (Engin), and Jackie Stephens (Bio), the Academy is a new organization on campus promoting the free exchange of ideas. The Academy will meet on May 3: 1:00, in 216 Stubbs; all interested faculty members are welcome. National organization: heterodoxacademy.org

Faculty Council Meeting

Faculty Council Meeting: 2:30pm, April 17, Royal Cotillion Ballroom, the Union. We need every faculty member, from full-time instructor thru Boyd Professor! Submit potential items for inclusion on the meeting agenda by emailing facultysenate@lsu.edu.

New Graduate Student Funding Model

Uncertainty remains over many elements of the new graduate student funding model, including how and if graduate students will be provided with health insurance as part of the new packages. 

Concerns about LSU Early Childhood Education Laboratory School (ECELP)

Because of unease over recent operational changes among many parents, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC) will be meeting with stakeholders on March 29. Anyone wishing more information on this meeting should email facultysenate@lsu.edu.

Expectations of Course Grading and Communication

The Faculty Senate passed Resolution 23-02, “Proposed Revisions to Clarify Expectations Around Course Grading and Communication.” This resolution recommends that the first sentence of the second paragraph of Section III. General Policy of Policy Statement 29 be revised to read “The course syllabus must specify information to the student about the course, including course objectives, grading policies, topics, textbooks and reference materials. It is suggested that the syllabus include anticipated timelines for returning graded coursework, and a course communications policy.”

Revision of Policy Statement 12A (governing sabbaticals)

The Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Sabbatical Committee is recommending extensive revisions of PS-12A. Most importantly, the recommended new version makes it clear that sabbatical eligibility is limited to fulltime tenured faculty who have completed six years of service and who have not taken a sabbatical in the last six years (clock starts on first day of job). The Committee also recommends that the Faculty Senate in consultation with the Office of Academic Affairs appoint a committee to establish a periodic leave-with-pay program for Senior Instructors or higher and Professionals-in-Residence that would be designed with their professional development and service to the university in mind.

Open Educational Resources (OER) and Affordable Educational Resources (AER)

LA Act 125 requires transparency in textbook pricing for students; courses required to label OER (all course resources are open license; students will spend no money on course books or required websites or memberships) and AER (required resources do not exceed a pre-sales tax cost equal to four times the federal minimum wage [i.e., no more than $29 with a $7.25 federal minimum wage]; note that library e-books come under the AER heading). Department schedulers have been mandated to ask faculty to include AER/OER information for their courses each semester. 

Only 1.68% of Fall 2023 courses are labeled OER and AER (a much lower percentage than at other LA state colleges and universities), in part because many courses that meet the OER or AER requirements are not labeled as such.  

Faculty using (or planning to use) OER/AER materials can make sure that their course is listed as OER or AER.  Click the "Special Enrollment Code" box and enter the letters OER or AER: Registrar website: Request to Change the Course Offering after Lockout. If your course is not correctly labeled, go to the Registrar website > Faculty and Staff Services > Request to Change the Course Offering after Lockout > Type of Change: Special Enrollment Code.

For  more information, go to: LSU Libraries - Open Educational Resources (OER)

Campus Infrastructure

Wide swings in temperature. Concrete falling from the ceiling. Week-long, building-wide power outages. Compromised computer systems. Flooded rooms and black mold. . . . The situation is dire and is adversely affecting our research mission. FSEC is exploring options. Please alert your senator to egregious problems or email facultysenate@lsu.edu

Online Teaching and Intellectual Property Rights

Every faculty member contemplating teaching online should familiarize themselves with the policies that determine ownership of course materials. The Office of Research and Economic Development has developed a useful webpage that provides links to various Bylaws, Permanent Memoranda and Policy Statements addressing intellectual property policies. 

Shared Governance Mechanisms

The Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Policy Committee and FSEC are working on strengthening these mechanisms. This work includes revising the procedures by which Policy Statements are created and revised, bringing more of the faculty governance structure under Faculty Senate oversight, clarifying LSU’s representation on the (system-wide) Council of Faculty Advisors, and recommending that the Faculty Council approve a new Faculty Senate Constitution.

Faculty Senate Leadership Compensation

Provost Roy Haggerty has agreed that, in line with LSU’s peer institutions, the Faculty Senate President will receive a $10,000 stipend and full course release.

GRACE Training

The Office of Civil Rights & Title IX invites you to participate in the LSU GRACE (Gaining Resilience and Cultivating Empowerment training), which is a workshop designed to provide faculty and staff the tools to confidently support students and colleagues who may have been impacted by sexual violence. For more information please visit: https://lsu.edu/civil-rights/training/grace-training.php 

Faculty Council meeting

April 17, 2:30, Royal Cotillion Ballroom, Union. A quorum is crucial as an assertion of faculty governance. Every full-time faculty member, from instructor through Boyd Professor, should plan to attend!

ORP Underfunding

The Faculty Senate passed FS Resolution 23-01, “Resolution to Expand Retirement Choices for LSU Employees,” that calls on LSU leadership to pursue legislation in the 2023 LA Legislative Session to address the inequities created by the ORP and its implementation as “a retirement plan classified as a pension plan” and to offer the many employees who desire to revoke their election into ORP and participate in the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL) the ability to do so in a fair, affordable way.

LA State Senate Resolution 6

LA State Senator Cathey has announced he will not convene the tenure task force as per SR-6 and instead plans to introduce a bill on tenure in upcoming senate session. The Faculty Senate stands by FS Resolution 22-06: A Call To Reaffirm Protections of Academic Freedom and Tenure.

Zero-Based Budget

The Zero-Based Budget Provost’s Committee report is complete. On behalf of the Faculty Senate, President Inessa Bazayev and Vice-President Daniel Tirone have urged Provost Roy Haggerty to make the report public, but his preference now is not to do so. He is considering releasing an executive summary of the report.

Graduate Student Stipends

Confusion and concern, particularly around the issue of graduate student health insurance, remain high. For example, higher stipends may make graduate students ineligible for some government benefits. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC) is working with the Graduate Student Association and the wider faculty to clarify and articulate those concerns.

New Graduate School Entrance Requirements

The Faculty Senate approved the Graduate School's proposal to allow departments to opt of requiring the GRE for admission and to also allow the GS to use the alternative admission metric described in their proposal for graduate admission decisions.

The GS has piloted a comprehensive review score that is based on:

  •  overall undergraduate GPA,
  • undergraduate GPA last 60 hours,
  • GPA of all graduate level courses completed (if any)
  • a personal statement focused on why the student wishes to pursue a particular graduate degree at LSU,
  • letters of reference from up to three non-family members who can attest to maturity and dedication of the applicant,
  • the years of experience an applicant might have,
  • an essay about the applicant’s drive and persistence.

In the pilot, the comprehensive review scale is based on a 4.0 scale and a score of at least 3.0 was required for admission.

Departments that wish to use the GRE for admissions may continue to do so.

Student Health Center, the OLOL Takeover, and Concerns about Mental Health

The LSU’s Health Center’s partnership with Our Lady of the Lake is effective Feb. 27, and is part of a wider partnership, including a significant alliance with the Athletic Department, a research component, as well as a new science building.

  • OLOL will take over the Health Center’s Medical Clinic (with the exception of the GYN Clinic) and Mental Health Services.
  • The Health Center, funded by the student fee, will continue to run Wellness and Health Promotion and the Lighthouse Program, as well as all GYN services, including contraception. All existing staff will remain.
  • OLOL is investing $10 million; plus $3 million for uninsured and underinsured students; it will also provide pharmacy and delivery services, expanded access to telehealth, and access to a nurse line.
  • Julie Hupperich, Executive Director of the Student Health Center, explained that although students must wait two weeks for a new appointment with Mental Health
    Services, they also have access to Same-Day Walk-In appointments every day.

Extreme Building Temperatures

FSEC has expressed the faculty’s concern
about overly heated or overly chilled classrooms, labs, office space, practice rooms, etc., and the resulting detrimental impact on teaching and research.

  • Facility Services Interim Executive Director Bryan Andries and Assistant Director Gerald Sansoni acknowledged that the number of outages has increased over the last year. In March 2022, LSU embarked on a modernization project: $115 million investment, scheduled to be complete by end of 2024, with the hopes that the system will then have enough capacity for the new buildings under construction now. This modernization process has caused problems: when parts of the old system are demolished to make way for new, the system loses reserve capacity, then equipment breaks down.
  • Repairs have often been slowed by supply chain difficulties.
  • Faculty should report all problems to the building coordinator and/or via a direct phone call or email to Facility Services. All building coordinators have received a list of every faculty member teaching in their building.

Chat GPT

Senate Pres. Bazayev is meeting with Academic Affairs to develop a campuswide policy; in the meantime, CxC has put together a web page of helpful resources.

Funding Available!

Phi Kappa Phi President Louay Mohammad asked senators to
inform their units and students of the opportunities for financial support through PKP, which gives out $1.3 million pa to qualified students, in the form of awards ranging from $1000 to $35000. Faculty Sabbatical awards of $50,000 are also available.

Resolution 23-01, “Resolution to Expand Retirement Choices for LSU Employees”

  • Resolution 23-01, “Resolution to Expand Retirement Choices for LSU Employees,” sponsored by the Benefits Advisory Committee, received its first reading. The resolution refers to SB10 of the 2022 Louisiana Legislative Session, which proposed legislation to offer an ORP participant to transfer to the defined benefit plan (TRSL) on an actuarial basis. This bill did not move out of committee. Resolution 23-01 calls on LSU President Tate to endorse a similar piece of legislation in the 2023 Legislative Session, so that the many employees who desire to do so, can revoke their election into a defined contribution ORP and participate in the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana.

Zero-Based Budget

  • The Zero-Based Budget Committee report was submitted to the Provost on Friday, Jan. 20. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC) has asked that the report to be made public as soon as possible.

Extreme Building Temperatures

  • As extreme building temperatures (below 60 and above 90) continue to have a negative impact on faculty research and teaching, faculty are urged to report each and every problem to Facility Services (225-578-3186), to the Building Coordinator, and to the Administrative Process Improvement Committee (APIC). FSEC has asked that a representative from Facility Services attend the Feb. Faculty senate meeting to answer questions and to provide a timeline for remedying the problems.

PM-11

  • A number of faculty reported delays in obtaining approval for outside employment contracts under PM-11. After consultation between FSEC and Academic Affairs, those delays should no longer occur. Other concerns with the permanent memorandum still exist and are the subject of continuing discussion between FSEC and Academic Affairs.

ILC Course Assessment

LSU’s contract with Caesar’s Sportsbook

  • Keli Zinn, Executive Deputy Director and COO of LSU Athletics, and Clay Harris, Deputy Director of Athletics for Revenue Generation gave an overview of the Caesar’s Partnership:
    • Caesar’s receives access to prime signage, radio spots, TV spots, print, website and use of LSU logo. In exchange, Caesar’s is now one of the highest donors to LSU Athletics.
    • The contract runs thru 2026.
    • The broadcast email sent out to all students and faculty (urging us all to place our first bet through the Caesar’s app) was the product of serious human error and will not happen again.
    • LSU Sports Properties, the exclusive marketing & multimedia rights holder of LSU Athletics since 2005, is a private corporation, a separate legal entity from LSU, and not subject to public disclosure laws. All agreements through LSU Sports Properties are protected; the secrecy surrounding the contract with Caesar’s was not unique.
    • No faculty committee consults with LSU Sports Properties.
  • Zinn was not able to say who at LSU approved the contract or to describe the consultation and communication process between LSU Sports Properties, LSU Athletics, and the academic university.

Zero-Based Budget

  • There will be a Town Hall meeting on December 13, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. in the Halliday Forum in the Manship School. The Town Hall meeting is open to faculty, graduate students, and staff. 
  • In November, the Faculty Senate Executive Council solicited faculty feedback via senators. A summary of the comments received was emailed to all senators for distribution to units and departments. If you have not received this summary, contact your senator.

Enrollment Management and Student Success

  • In the fall of 2022, Enrollment Management assigned course schedules to incoming students based on a survey that the students had filled out. At Orientation, students were offered 1:1 academic advising if they were concerned about or wanted to change their schedule. Aviles admitted that this process was flawed but insisted that the university is moving quickly toward a more relational approach whereby all incoming students will meet with academic advisors. LSU currently does not require students to consult with academic advisors on their course schedules.
  • Since 2017, LSU has made impressive gains in the number of out-of-state students (up 182%), beneficiaries of Pell Grants (up 82%), students from historically underserved backgrounds (up 144%), and first-generation college students (up 160%). This success, however, means that LSU must do much better on ensuring that these new populations do well at LSU.  
    • University College, the Center for Academic Success, and Financial Aid are now under Enrollment Management. This restructuring is part of a longer-term strategy to ensure that every incoming freshman is assigned a “Student Success Team” comprising an academic advisor, an academic coach, and a financial advisor.
    • An effort to improve the University College student: advisor ratio is underway. In Fall 2021, the ratio within the College was 600:1 (which is abysmal).  In Fall 2022, that ratio was 350:1 (considered the bare minimum, by national standards).  By hiring additional advisors, Aviles hopes to bring the ratio to 250:1 by Fall 2023.
    • This expansion in the number of advisors will allow 1) the assignment of an advisor to every first-year student, and 2) the use of predictive analytics to identity and approach at-risk students.

New Library

  • The planning process for a new library is underway. Libraries Dean, Stanley Wilder, is soliciting faculty input on the following:
    • Disposition of print collection:
      • What should go? The two-million volume print collection has never been weeded and it must be.
      • What kinds of print collections should be in browsable format (as opposed to stored off-site)?
    • Envisioning the new library: from functions (e.g. should the Testing Center be located in the library?) to square footage. 

Why You Should Get an ORCID:

  • Federal grants now require a digital persistent identity, like ORCID.
  • Will make sure you are credited with the work that you do.
    Generates data that are important for rankings.
  • Will save time-- will link to other platforms, Elements, many publication submission and grant application forms--can set up ORCID account to automatically update itself and it works retroactively.
  • Required by many publishers
  • orcid@lsu.edu: Library staff will help update and connect (can authorize librarian as “trusted source” to update your account).
  • Learn more about ORCID.

In November, the Faculty Senate formed a special Sabbatical Review Committee that will work with Academic Affairs to revise university policies governing sabbaticals in response to questions that have emerged about sabbaticals for untenured faculty and for instructors, among other concerns. 

Faculty Teaching Colloquium:

  • January 13, 2023 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Featuring José Bowen on Teaching Change: How to Develop Independent Thinkers Using Relationships, Resilience, and Reflection. 

The meeting of the LA Senate Concurrent Res 6 Legislative Committee (tasked with investigating tenure) has been indefinitely postponed. The Association of Louisiana Faculty Senates (ALFS) and the LSU Faculty Senate Executive Committee are monitoring developments and will keep you posted.

SCR6

  • The initial meeting of the SCR6 taskforce to study tenure was scheduled for November 17th, 2022, but it has been postponed indefinitely. 

Zero-Based Budget Proposal

  • Following the announcement of the Zero-Based Budget proposal from the Office of Academic Affairs on October 27th, 2022, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee solicited feedback from Senators. We received feedback from 17 departments and compiled a summary capturing broad concerns across campus, regardless of disciplines, and more unit-specified concerns. This report was forwarded to Senators for distribution in their units. If you did not receive a copy of the Executive Summary, please be sure to contact your Senator. 

Faculty Council Meeting

  • The Faculty Council Meeting has been scheduled for Monday, April 17th, 2022 at 2:30pm. More details about the location are forthcoming.

Zero-Based Budget Model

  • The Provost's presentation to the Faculty Senate on the new Zero-Based Budget Model, which includes adjustments to graduate student funding, is on October 20th, 2022 

Faculty Senate

  • The Faculty Senate Executive Committee conducted a survey of all faculty to identify individuals willing and able to serve on the Faculty Senate and the administrative committees.