Faculty Senate Prepares For Commission Visit

The UCA Faculty Senate met Oct. 22 in Wingo Hall to discuss the upcoming Higher Education Commission visit and recent physical therapy competition.

President Tom Courtway was not in attendance, so senate president and UCA Vice President Elect Charles Watson, aided by Provost Steve Runge, led the discussion.

The Higher Education Commission visits campus Nov. 11 and 12. Chief Information Officer Jonathan Glenn, described many aspects of the upcoming visit.

“The purpose of the visit is focused, not comprehensive,” Glenn said. “The last comprehensive visit was in 2010 and the next one will take place in the 2016-17 year.”

The visitors are committee members from across the country, and they will be coming to UCA with an interest in the school’s strategic planning.

UCA was given an assignment, which included writing a monitoring report toward the strategic plan. The next step was to have this committee visit and assess what UCA has done so far toward fully establishing the plan.

“They come, they look, they verify,” Glenn said. “The amount of work that has gone into this is monumental. The thing is, the committee knows that higher education institutions are living, breathing things. They do not work like a fully tested computer program. It isn’t going to be perfect, and they don’t expect it to be. The important thing is to be honest, relevant, and responsible.”

The senate discussed its opposition to a UAMS proposal to build a free-standing physical therapy complex.

Runge said UCA can meet the need in Arkansas for physical therapists.

“We have the oldest, largest, and arguably the best program in the state,” he said.

Runge said odds are that UCA’s objection will not be sustained.

“It is more efficient to boost our own resources to fill the need than to create a new complex,” he said.

Runge said there is not a lack of physical therapists in Arkansas but that there is merely a misdistribution of them. An average of 52 physical therapy students graduate from UCA a year.

At the end of the meeting, the senate voted to adopt the College of Business’s Diversity Statement.

Kaye McKinzie, assistant professor, and other faculty members spent time perusing the diversity statements of other schools and decided the statement the College of Business created possesses the most progressive and inclusive language.

The senate discussed keeping application numbers high, relating to the mention of the previous Bear Facts day, which had a record turn-out.

Courtway will be bring in a task force including health-experts regarding the recent e-cigarettes issue on campus. As of now they are labeled “OK” but the task force will do more extensive research in the near future.

On Dec. 6, a school- and community-wide holiday event will be held at the President’s House. A faculty-only event will be Dec. 8.

Due to conflicts in schedule, the Faculty Senate moved it’s next meeting to Nov. 14.

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