Senate Steering Meeting
February 14, 2023
3:30 p.m.

Present: Mark Carpenter (Chair), L. Octavia Tripp (Secretary), Dan Svyantek (Past-chair), Lisa Kensler (Chair-elect), Linda Gibson-Young (Secretary-elect), Vini Nathan (Interim Provost), Evelyn Hunter (Rules appointee), Robert Norton (Presidential appointee), Danilea Werner (Rules appointee), Robert Cochran (Presidential appointee), Laura Kloberg (admin support for the Senate).

Guests:   Tony Novara, Research Security; Martha Taylor, Asst VP Research

3:30 p.m.: Chair called the meeting to order.

3:30 p.m.: Discussion/approval of Steering Minutes from January 17, 2023. The Senate secretary mentioned some edits she made since submission and took some edits from the Senate Chair-elect. Minutes were accepted upon revisions at 3:33 p.m.

3:33 p.m.: Interim-Provost was introduced. The Interim-Provost gave a status report on the various dean searches, and she announced the completion of the Promotion and Tenure their deliberations in the previous week. She alerted that the Rules committee will need to be ready to form appeals committee in the event there are any appeals. The Chair asked for and received clarifications. Senate Secretary and Interim-Provost agree to coordinate.

3:38 p.m.:  Special guest Tony Novara was introduced and gave updates on research security requirements for faculty involved in funded research.  It was agreed that Novara will not give an update in the February Senate meeting. He will update the Senate after final Federal Guidelines are available.

3:55 p.m.: Martha Taylor, Asst VP Research, was introduced and gave an update on ERA system. The Huron Research Suite was selected as the vendor for the ERA and contracts have been signed. She went through the various requirements and the vendor selection process and outlined the material she proposed to present the February Senate session.  The Senate Chair-elect and Secretary-elect made comments and suggestions for the material to be presented. It was agreed that Martha would present at the upcoming February Senate session.

4:16 p.m.: Senate Chair announced that the Rules committee will need to find a replacement for the seat on the Rules committee vacated prematurely by Ken Macklin, who recently retired.  It was further stated that nominations will need to be made and voted on in the February Senate meeting, since Macklin’s retirement was effective January 30. The Chair-elect asked for and received clarification.  Laura Kloberg remined that the only requirement for Rules committee nominees is that the person must be a sitting senator at the time of nomination.

4:19 p.m.: Senate Chair began a discussion about new business brought up in the January Senate meeting, by Brian Anderson, regarding faculty concerns about Chat GPT.  Carpenter, Kensler, Werner, Tripp, Norton, and Svyantek all contributed to the discussion. Various experts/scholars were suggested as potential speakers to give an update on Chat GPT. It was agreed to seek out a speaker to put on the agenda for February Senate session, after proposed speaker and materials are approved by Steering.

4:35 p.m.: Meeting adjourned.