College of A&S Strategic Planning Committee begins following faculty backlash Sunday, Mar 6 2022 

By Joe Wilson — 

Interim Provost Gerry Bradley is acting on his promise to restructure the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S). Bradley announced on Feb. 28 that the A&S Strategic Planning Committee would begin meeting this week. The first meeting took place Mar. 4. 

The A&S Strategic Planning Committee is a new task force intended to plan and implement structural changes to the College of Arts and Sciences. While the objectives of the committee are still unclear, members plan to talk through their ideas of reorganizing A&S. After these preliminary discussions, the committee will circulate a report of the proposed changes to A&S Faculty. The committee hopes to present its final plan to the upcoming Faculty Assembly meeting.

The announcement included the names of the A&S faculty members who have been chosen to serve on the committee:

  • Avery Kolers – College elected faculty member 
  • Natalie Polzer – College elected faculty member 
  • Glynis Ridley – College elected faculty member 
  • Aaron Rollins – College elected faculty member 
  • David Schultz – College elected faculty member 
  • Matthew Church – College elected staff member  
  • Danielle Dolan – College elected staff member 
  • Craig Grapperhaus – Dean appointed faculty member 
  • Latricia Best – Dean appointed faculty member 
  • Edna Ross – Dean appointed faculty member  
  • Juli Wagner – Dean appointed staff member 
  • Brandon McCormack – Provost appointed faculty member 
  • Karen Freberg – Provost appointed faculty member 
  • Ann Hall – Provost appointed faculty member 
  • Rick Graycarek – Provost appointed staff member 
  • David Owen – Ex officio member 
  • Douglas Craddock – Ex officio member 
  • Sarah Lopez – Ex officio member 
  • Ian Norris – Ex officio member 

The selection of committee members comes roughly a month after Bradley first announced the creation of the A&S Strategic Planning Committee. Elections were originally scheduled to occur on Feb. 3. However, after A&S faculty balked at the rapid election process the provost delayed the formation of the committee until now.

Bradley’s efforts to restructure A&S have generated controversy among faculty and staff. Several A&S faculty members have expressed fears that the restructure will result in the reduction of departments in the college. 

Outside organizations have also expressed concerns over the new committee. The United Campus Workers of Kentucky (UCW), a group that represents campus workers from across the state, sent out an open letter that criticized the committee. In the letter, UCW demanded that there be no staffing, instructional or departmental cuts as part of the restructuring. UCW also demanded that departments not be combined, additional funding is provided to A&S and that if cuts must be made, they should be made first to upper executive salaries and unnecessary capital projects.

The letter read in part, “We call upon the UofL community, including faculty, staff, students, and other community members who have an interest in maintaining a vibrant and diverse community at UofL, to join us in demanding that restructuring efforts prioritize the stability of jobs, workloads, and well-being of current staff and faculty. This will translate into a more resilient employee base that can better serve our students, in keeping with the Cardinal Community of Care and Accountability principles.”

The provost’s office plans to send updates regarding the committee’s progress in the coming weeks.

Logo Courtesy // U of L College of Arts and Sciences

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U of L makes concessions in course delivery policy Wednesday, Jan 26 2022 

By Madelin Shelton —

The university has announced flexibility in its course delivery policy after significant pushback from the U of L community.

Faculty are now allowed to temporarily shift their mode of instruction from face-to-face to virtual and use remote work options in accordance with their supervisor or department chair. U of L updated the Emergency Temporary Leave Guidelines to reflect the new standards, along with the policy on flexible scheduling.

Guidelines for faculty are summarized as follows:

  • Express your specific request to your immediate department chair.
  • If you’re concerned that your chair is not granting you flexibility outlined in the current policy and guidelines, contact your dean.
  • If you’re concerned that neither your chair nor dean are granting you flexibility outlined in the current policy and guidelines, contact the Office of the Provost (provost@louisville.edu).

Guidelines for staff are as follows:

  • Express your specific request to your immediate supervisor.
  • If you’re concerned that your supervisor is not granting you flexibility outlined in the current policy and guidelines, contact the next level(s) of supervision.
  • If you’ve exhausted all levels of supervision in your chain of command and are still concerned, contact HR’s Employee Relations Team (emrelate@louisville.edu).

“The guidelines and policy mentioned below are in place to support our faculty and staff while still offering the highest level of instruction and service to our students. They are meant to be short-term solutions, and do not suggest that faculty may switch modes of course delivery for the entire semester,” the university said in a statement.

The change of course comes after U of L faced extensive criticism for requiring faculty to teach in-person unless they were sick with or exposed to COVID-19. The U of L Chapter of the American Association of University Professors, College of A&S Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee and the United Campus Workers all spoke out against the original policy. A petition sponsored by the UCW demanding more flexibility in course delivery policy and stricter COVID-19 regulations garnered over 1,700 signatures. The UCW also held a rally and expressed opposition to the policy at a board of trustees meeting last week.

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