Faculty Senate Minutes, January

March 6, 2023

Faculty Senate Minutes, January 20, 2023

10:00 AM-12:00 PM: Hammond – Alumni Hall


Voting Members Present:
Lee Artz, Ali Alavizadeh, Gokarna Aryal, Scott Bates, Jose Castro-Urioste, Magesh Chandramouli, Janet Chaney, Ralph Cherry, Karen Covington, Joan Dorman, Anne Edwards, Bankole Fasanya, Masoud Fathizadeh, Cari Furst, Rob Hallock, Wei He, Meden Isaac-Lam, Kenny Kincaid, Dave Kozel, Roger Kraft, Bob Kramer, Meghan McGonigal-Kenney, Robert Merkovsky, Michael Mick, David Nalbone, Dave Pratt, Sheila Rezak, Tom Roach, Tony Sindone, Michelle Spaulding, Diane Spoljoric, George Stefanek, Kelly Vaughan, Wubeshet Woldemariam, Shengyong Zhang, Sam Zinaich

Voting Members Absent:
Karen Bishop Morris

Non-Voting Members Present:
Tony Elmendorf , Alan McCafferty

Others Present:
Elizabeth Babcock Depew, Manisa Baker, Christopher K. Belous, Heather Benson, Shreya  Bhandari, Mike Biel, Melissa Borja, Michael Bourgeois, Heather Bowers, David Detmer, Jason Eberly, Mohammed Errihani, Colin Fewer, Lindsay Gielda, Dianne Hoekstra, Chris Holford, Omeed Ilchi, Nicky Jackson, Izabela Jannotta, Richard Konda, Athula Kulatunga, Hoon Lee, May Lee, Yun Liu, Michael Lynn, Deepa Majumdar, Robin Miller, Trish Morita, Collette Morrow, Catherine Murphy, Catherine Olsen, Neeti Parashar, Barb Pudelek, Julia Rogers, Michael Roller, Richard Rupp, Pam Saylor, Marianne Schallmo, Geoff Schultz, Sharon Smith Rebecca Stankowski, Kate Sweeney, Lizhe Tan, Jane Thomas, Kathy Tobin, Alain Togbe, Serdar Turedi, Diana Underwood, Feng-Song Wang, Maria Watson, Anita Kay Westhues, Donna Whitten, Jen Williams, Nuri Zeytinoglu, Lin Zhao


  1. Determination of quorum
    • Quorum determined at 10:005
  2. Call to order
    • Meeting called to order at 10:05
  3. Approval of the agenda
    • Motioned for approval by Rob Hallock
    • Seconded by Ralph Cherry
    • Approved by voice vote
  4. Approval of the minutes from December 9, 2022
    • Motioned for approval by Rob Hallock
    • Seconded by Dave Pratt
    • Approved by voice vote
  5. Remarks by the Senate Chair
    • The Chair explained what transpired during the December 10, 2022 Commencement exercises concerning Chancellor Keon and the use of a mocking Asian accent. The Chair said he spoke to the keynote speaker, Jim Dedelow, after the event because both J. Dedelow and Chancellor Keon were speaking so fast during their remarks that it was difficult to understand from the stage. J. Dedelow said he was speaking gibberish, not imitating any language, and thought Keon was doing the same.
    • The Chair said he immediately composed a letter to the Purdue Board of Trustees after reviewing video footage shared by the Washington Post. In the letter the Chair explained that the PNW Faculty Senate already asked Chancellor Keon to resign for different reasons the previous year and would support the Board’s decision to remove him if they decided to do so. The Board of Trustees accepted Chancellor Keon’s apology, deciding not to remove him. The Board of Trustees did not respond to the Senate Chair’s letter. The Chair then sent them another open letter sharing his reasons why he thought the Chancellor should be removed. The Purdue Exponent published the Senate Chair’s letter and it was subsequently picked by several other publications. The New York Times published an editorial piece in defense of the Chancellor. The Senate Chair wrote a response to the editorial but it was not published.
    • The Chair explained other correspondence between him and various media outlets. He said he has received letters from alumni, community members, faculty and several organizations representing Asian Americans. A list of these statements was distributed to the faculty. Representatives from the organizations who reached out to the Chair were invited to today’s meeting to read their statements.
    • The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate voted unanimously to demand Chancellor Keon’s resignation. The Chair and the Vice Chair met with the Chancellor and delivered to him a letter from the Executive Committee calling for his resignation. The Chancellor did not respond to this request.
    • The Chair read from some of the letters he has received in response to this matter.
    • Ralph Cherry thanked the Chair and Vice Chair for their efforts.
    • The Chair said the Chancellor was supposed to meet with Senate Leadership this week but did not show up. The Chair also pointed out that the Chancellor was absent from today’s Senate meeting and that he will not be attending the next two meetings, either. The Chair suggested having the Chancellor’s Chief of Staff act as a sit-in for future meetings when the Chancellor is unavailable.
  6. Remarks by the Chancellor
    • The Chancellor was not in attendance. The Chair recognized the Provost.
    • The Provost welcomed faculty back for spring semester. He thanked the faculty and staff involved in the previous week’s celebration. The Provost said enrollment has beat forecast projections again. The fall semester saw a very large incoming class and we have managed to maintain them at a rate higher than anticipated. Retention declined in that class, sophomore and junior retention was slightly higher, senior retention was about the same.
    • College of Nursing remained the highest retention rate retaining approximately 94% of their students that were in the fall. Business Technology, Engineering and Science also maintain students at about an 89% retention rate, CHESS at about 86%.
    • University College were retained at 76%, higher than previous years. The Provost shared their appreciation for the Senate’s work in passing the proposal for the University College. By placing students in a University College, we can direct the resources that are necessary to help them succeed at a higher rate and actually successfully transfer into some of the academic colleges. The proposal is now on the desk of PUWL Provost Wolfe. A conversation is scheduled this week with Provost Wolfe. With his approval and the approval of the President this proposal would then go to the Board of Trustees for official recognition.
    • Stankowski has availed herself to come to any department to explain USDE restrictions on online content, what they mean, and what it means to be a residential campus.
    • The Provost addressed course exceptions made across programs. They agreed that they would provide a regular report to the Curriculum Committee. M. Bourgeois’ office completed and sent the report to the Senate and Curriculum Committee Chairs.
    • The Provost said the Vice Chair sent to him a list of questions asking for an update on changes made on the Westville campus and to provide a status update for the Senate. He said his staff has worked diligently on those questions and the report should be available in the next couple of weeks. Diane Spoljoric asked the Provost why they are looking into Westville. The Provost clarified that there were a number of faculty recommendations regarding the Westville campus that were received by the Vice Chair and forwarded to Senior Leadership for status updates. There is a Westville committee that is currently meeting and it has also made a series of nine recommendations. Some of those were duplicate recommendations. The Provost said they were all approved, and he can provide an update of where we are at with the recommendations that came out of that joint working group.
    • Ali Alavizadeh said that while attending training on new Interfolio features he was informed there will not be any graduate assistants to assist faculty members who need help. The Provost said the graduate aid who handled this has since graduated and has not yet been replaced but that he will look into this.
    • Tony Sindone said the University College is designed to lose students to the other colleges, so, as such, retention of 76% is not necessarily a bad thing. The Provost clarified that we are losing them from the institution entirely. Arguably, we have far too many students that come in as undecided/undeclared who meander, collect credits across the colleges, and then find themselves in a position where they have amassed 100 credits, and have not made progress towards successful graduation. The goal of faculty representatives in the University College is to get students into the academic colleges within 30 credits.
  7. Unfinished Business
    • Benchmarking report
      1. The Chair said a committee was established to draft a proposal for how the university might be organized. The Provost also put together a committee. The Senate is prepared to share their proposal and are looking forward to the next step. Dave Kozel asked if the Senate already has these proposals and, if so, where they came from. The Chair said faculty-wide discussions and departmental discussions are needed. Dave Kozel said Ed Policy should be included as this is within the purview of their committee structure. The Chair clarified this will be passed onto Ed Policy, the Senate and all faculty for review.
  1. New Business:
    • Curriculum Documents Approval
      1. Lee Artz said there were 15 proposals.
      2. Motion for approval by Lee Artz
      3. Seconded by Wei He
      4. Approved by voice vote
  1. Vote of no confidence and calls for chancellor’s removal
    • The Chair said they have received a number of statements that have come to the Senate and to faculty from organizations representing Asian Americans. The Vice chair read a letter from the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum which refuted Chancellor Keon’s apology and explained the detrimental impact of his remarks at Commencement.
    • The Chair passed the floor to Richard Konda, Executive Director of the Asian Law Alliance in San Jose, California.
    • Konda said California groups were compelled to write a letter because the Keon incident is not solely a Purdue matter, it is a matter of national significance, which is why 24 organizations in California have signed a letter calling for Chancellor Keon’s termination. R. Konda reminded attendees about an attack on an Asian student at Indiana University that just happened on January 15, stating that anti-Asian hate is real and, unfortunately, alive and well in this state.
    • Konda read a letter addressed to PUWL President Chang and to the Board of Trustees. The letter states that Chancellor Keon cannot be allowed to remain Chancellor of Purdue University Northwest. Keon’s remarks during the PNW commencements are an outrage. A formal reprimand does not go far enough. Signatories of the letter agreed with the PNW faculty vote of no confidence and with the PNW AUUP’s call for Chancellor Keon’s resignation. It was articulated that universities such as PNW bear the enormous responsibility of shaping our next generation of leaders. The position of Chancellor should be filled by someone with irreproachable judgment, integrity and public confidence. Someone who makes students of all backgrounds including Asians and Asian Americans feel welcome. The decision by the BOT, a mere letter of reprimand, is implicit tolerance of racism and prejudice. R. Konda read the names and institutions of those who signed.
    • Lee Artz said he wanted to draw attention to the response from the Urban League who has asked for Chancellor Keon to resign from their board. L. Artz elaborated that the Chancellor was unwilling to meet with the Urban League unless it was in private. They have subsequently removed him from their board and have been in touch with the Faculty Senate offering to work with us on developing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives because they are not confident that the administration is the place to start. The fact the Urban League, the NAACP and LGBTQ community has responded to this is indicative that it cannot be isolated from the general climate of intimidation and bullying. It affects not just the reputation of the university, but also the students that are here.
    • Tony Sindone said the Faculty Affairs Committee brought a proposal to the Faculty Senate last year which passed in order to create an ad hoc committee that will conduct a study in the Purdue Northwest community to address these particular issues. It seems like the Urban League would be a perfect source for some of the outside experts that we have been looking for in order to help develop this particular committee and study what is going on within the Purdue Northwest community.
    • Colette Morrow added a letter from the National Organization for Women into the Zoom chat for addition to the record. She thanked Tony Sindone for offering to assist the Urban League in forming the ad hoc committee they requested. C. Morrow said this institution has a deeply rooted systemic problem with oppression and provided examples of events and situations on campus indicative of this.
    • Bankole Fasanya said he is a pastor with Purdue students as some of his members. This racism issue has led a graduate student from Ghana to end his program with the university. B. Fasanya said the grad student came to pray with him, which they did.
  2. Discussion Items:
    • Stephen Turner Presentation
      1. Turner was not in attendance
  1. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
    • Curriculum (Lee Artz)
      1. The Curriculum Committee adjusted the schedule to accommodate proposals for programs so that they can appear in the fall schedule.
      2. Lee Artz said their committee is also working on monitoring course exceptions.
    • Ed Policy (Diane Spoljoric)
      1. Diane Spoljoric said at their last meeting B. Stankowski met with Ed Policy to talk about online offerings, how rules and regulations are determined from HLC. She said, including Purdue Global, the Purdue system itself has put many stops on the ability to provide online course offerings. Faculty are still welcome to create courses and submit them through Curriculog to confirm whether or not they would be considered. There was a discussion about what an online course constitutes, hybrid versus an online meeting. We will remain with academic ability for faculty to be flexible, but cannot cross over to holding a course online that was meant to be in person.
        She said B. Stankowski offered to attend a Senate meeting for further clarification.
      2. The Vice Chair said PNW faculty can submit questions to PUWL Faculty Senate. He said he was informed by the current University Senate Chair that Purdue Global shares the name Purdue with us, but they are otherwise not essentially part of us. They have a different board. They have a different governance system. Certainly, they are operated differently. As such, we should be very concerned about protecting our own enrollments, and worried about encroachments by them upon our space.
    • Faculty Affairs (Tony Sindone)
      1. Tony Sindone said the main objective of their committee is administrative evaluations. The committee has found some best practices around the country, especially evaluating administrators at the very top level. The committee will have something put together to present to the Executive Committee at their next meeting.
      2. The development of an ad hoc committee for study on institutional DEI is in full force.
      3. P&T. FAC has a faculty development subcommittee. They are working with Emily Hickson’s group and the Provost’s Office explaining how the P&T process is going to work, how to use Interfolio.
    • Gen Ed & Assessment (Cari Furst)
      1. Cari Furst said they wrapped up Humanities & Social Sciences evaluations, report to be submitted. First Year Experience and New Student Orientation Committee met and are working on a draft proposal relating to the First Year Experience. Experiential Learning and the Transfer Credit Committees have not yet met this spring.
    • Nominations, Elections, & Awards (Meden Isaac-Lam)
      1. Meden Isaac Lam said they sent out an email to chairs and professors regarding members of the committee. They also sent out a timeline for faculty to submit nominees. Deadline is January 30, then the committee will meet on February 10 to decide the winner, or the committee chairs, submit the final winners to Laura. winner, or the committee chairs, submit the final winners to Laura. One of the faculty members who is a committee member was nominated, so the committee is trying to figure out the final list of members of each of the committees. An email update has been distributed with the final list.
    • Student Affairs (Michelle Spaulding)
      1. Michelle Spaulding said they are looking at Wi-Fi issues and disruptions. Working with Katie Brown and IS to create a set of data for this. If faculty or students experience this a ticket can be submitted, or email K. Brown with specifics such as times of day and recurrence of Wi-Fi disruptions.
      2. Subcommittee for Student of the Month has been assembled.
      3. Kenny Kincaid said they received information that the first floor of CLO is a total dead zone and that there have been some problems with one of the towers. He said he was unsure of the validity of this information but that it might be worth looking into.
      4. Bob Kramer said they have experienced similar issues where students can connect in certain spots but not others within the same classroom. He said there are phone apps available to test for Wi-Fi strength.
      5. Anne Edwards said this is also an issue that effects professor’s ability to lecture. Now that we have switched to cloud storage there have been a number of times when professors cannot access two-factor authorization due to lack of signal strength.
      6. The Vice Chair said it might be good for Student Affairs to reach out to Vice Chancellor Winders for potential remedies.
  1. IFC / West Lafayette Report (Lee Artz)
    • Lee Artz said PUWL Senate did not meet last month.
    • IFC has been working on IUPUI division. He said there were two primary points.
      1. The division of IUPUI. There is real concern about what program you may be able to go to if you transfer from IUPUI to Purdue, and it appears that the departments will be the final arbiters of whether or not you are accepted into this department or not. There was also the question if you’re in the middle of a tenure process, what happens when you move from here under IUPUI’s tenure process and go to PUWL’s.
      2. IFC meeting discussed the events with Chancellor Keon and will be approving on February 15 a resolution that supports the PNW Senate position and our faculty vote of no confidence. The resolution will express their concern with Keon’s behavior and also encouraging the Board of Trustees to reconsider their decision to keep Keon.
  1. SGA Report (David Bolton)
    • David Bolton said SGA had a great previous semester. They hosted a winter ball for students. New members have been recruited to the SGA roster, many of which are international students. Will be focusing on cultural awareness this semester. They will be hosting speakers including the father of the SGA President.
  2. Open discussion (as time permits).
    • Ralph Cherry asked about Dead Week. Michelle Spaulding said Student Affairs would look into this.
    • Tony Elmendorf reminded Senators that at the April meeting the Senate will be holding an election for Vice Chair Elect who will serve as Vice Chair next year and Chair the following year, Nominations and self-nominations are to be submitted to Professor Isaac-lamb and to Alan McCafferty.
    • Tony Elmendorf asked for a reminder of the procedure and policies for inclement weather. The Provost said the cessation of on campus activities and what the procedures should be have been distributed He said that he would be happy to facilitate sending that out again.
    • Dave Kozel said Chancellor Keon has been in his position for twelve years, with an extension approved by the Board of Trustees, while others have not historically held the position as long. Considering the present situation his extension should be reconsidered. Any attempt by him to perform his duties will be hindered as a result of the negative press.
    • Scott Bates asked if there is a central repository for the material that has been distributed for faculty to review. The Secretary said they will work on this.
    • Tony Sindone said he appreciated that Provost chose to attend and found it interesting that he is the only member of Senior Leadership in attendance. Colin Fewer correct in Zoom chat that Liz Depew is also in attendance remotely. Tony Sindone echoed a previous suggestion asking for a Chief of Staff to report on behalf of the Chancellor at times when he unavailable.
      1. Tony Sindone said many faculty and staff have addressed concerns about the impact of the Chancellor’s remarks on enrollment, retention, and job security. This is an unfortunate situation to be in. We need to be able to move in a positive direction, not simply wondering what’s happening, where is our leadership?
      2. Michelle Spaulding said this is not something that will quietly diminish. Students have addressed their concerns to her about whether they will continue plans of transferring.
      3. Kenny Kincaid said he was unaware of the situation until it was brought up by students asking what can be done in response. They developed a change.org petition which now has 10,000+ signatures. Kenny asked the SGA President about student involvement.
      4. David Bolton said they were unaware of the matter but received messages from Asian students expressing fear for their safety on campus and in the dorms. The SGA team has released a public statement on social media and via email to let students know they are there to support them in their needs. There have been rumors of protests. D. Bolton said he and his team felt helpless with little for them to do. Students were informed that SGA leadership met with Chancellor Keon and Dr. Goodnight to voice student concern and were asked how SGA could help them change how the Chancellor appeared to the rest of the school. When students come to SGA they are referred to the Dean of Students to voice their complaints with assurance of support from SGA. D. Bolton said he and his team are working on reestablishing our values, what our core beliefs are, so that we can help comfort students.
      5. Bankole Fasanya said last year he traveled to Africa for recruitment and was met with questions such as whether or not African students would be culturally accepted, to which he responded by saying that he would be here and that they share the same culture and ethnic background, so yes. He said we should put more effort in exemplifying our diversity and assuring international students that are safe here.
      6. Colette Morrow said she held two listening sessions for students prior to the holiday and there will be two more held in conjunction with the counseling center. This will be published in the NWI Times. The Midwestern Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Students Union (MAASU) has contacted our Social Justice Club and are working with the leaders of that group to develop a plan of action moving into the future.
      7. Meden Isaac Lam asked what can be done moving forward. PUWL is now advertising in a way that clarifies who their leadership is, seemingly in order to create distance from our own leadership.
      8. Anne Edwards reflected back on the Urban Leagues invitation. All academic departments need outside help to work through this issue.
      9. Kelly Vaughan asked what more can be done by the Senate to address this issue making certain that we are not being silent.
        1. The Chair said he believes the next important thing that is going to happen will be when resolutions come in from other Purdue campuses. That would put us in a position to really address this again. He said he will very likely be contacting the Board of Trustees again as Senate Chair when those reports come in demanding action. He said the Senate is open for suggestions on other actions.
        2. Kenny Kincaid asked about faculty taking initiative to reach out publicly in addition to the Senate Chair. The Senate Chair said there is some apprehension from faculty about penalization. The Vice Chair said the next best thing would be to address this with the incoming president of PUWL.
        3. Tony Sindone agreed the underlying issue with faculty responses is fear about reprimand from administration. As a faculty, though, we can create spaces and we can talk to each other without retribution. What about our students? The students are also feeling fear. what can we do as faculty to allay the fears of our students? These are the most important actions we can take.
        4. Michelle Spaulding said open communication with students is vital so that they are reassured they are safe and their concerns are being heard.
        5. Kelly Vaughan said if the Executive Committee were to draft something that we could bring back to our schools or departments or colleges there would be a lot of power in sharing drafts and having representation from the whole faculty.
        6. The Chair said this will be discussed at the next Executive Meeting and then shared with Senators for distribution and to collect feedback.
        7. Bob Kramer said another vote should be taken after a formal letter to President Chiang has been drafted, distributed and voted in favor of. The second ballot results can be included with the letter.
        8. The Vice Chair suggested holding an anonymous open forum to submit responses.
        9. Michelle Spaulding asked if it would be possible to create a repository of timeline of responses to the matter from the campus community. The Secretary said they will look into this. The Chair supported this and offered his assistance.
        10. Anne Edwards said the university has been confronted with issues of systemic racism and other similar issues. There are a number of universities that have acted successfully.
        11. The Chair said he spoke with a previous Chancellor of our university who also agreed with the stance of the Faculty Senate.
        12. David Bolton said faculty speaking to students directly in class would be helpful. Students would like to know how best to respond and would benefit from outspoken faculty support.
          1. Lee Artz said he would be to work with SGA and others outside of our organization.
          2. Collette Morrow suggested the Senate create an ad hoc committee to deal with this in the broader scope of the problem. A protest is a great idea.
          3. Kelly Vaughan echoed Colette Morrow’s motion to create an ad hoc committee to organize suggestions and plan actions moving forward.
            1. Seconded by Rob Hallock
            2. Approved by voice vote.
            3. The Chair appointed Kelly Vaughan and Rob Hallock to co-chairs of the committee.
          4. Pam Saylor thanked the AAPI faculty that are speaking on the matter.
        13. Adjournment
          • Meeting adjourned at 11:49AM