Faculty senate approves new Homeland Security degree program



Rick Muma addresses the Faculty Senate at a meeting in 2017.

Faculty senate approved a proposal Monday for a new, completely online homeland security degree program.

The proposed bachelor’s degree program, which would fall under the criminal justice department, will require the hiring of two new faculty members. The proposal still awaits approval by the Kansas Board of Regents.

Several senators expressed concern over what they saw as a lack of adequate time to discuss the proposal and ask questions.

Andi Bannister, director of community affairs, said that in order to give the Kansas Board of Regents enough time to consider the proposal and implement the new degree program for the spring semester, the faculty senate had to vote on it Monday.

George Dehner, a senator from the history department, voted against the proposal.

“Nothing against the program,” Dehner said.  “Just the way that it’s being rushed through again.”

Dehner said that major issues brought before the senate are typically discussed and opened up to questions during one meeting and voted on during the next meeting. Faculty senate meets every other week.

“Today we decided we did not have time for both readings,” Dehner said. “There’s no time for us to go back and talk to our constituents — other faculty members — and see what they thought.”

Dehner said this was not the first time a proposal had been rushed through the faculty senate without adequate time for consideration.

“My concern, as a senator, is this seems to be something that occurs far too often in this body,” Dehner said.

“It has certainly been part of a trend within recent time.”

Dan Close, a senator from the Elliott School of Communication, said he saw a trend in proposals being rushed through the faculty senate.

“We need to quit doing this,” Close said.

Betty Elder, a senator from the College of Health Professions, said the proposed degree program would help ensure recent graduates get local jobs.

“There’s a lot of these graduates are being hired by the Department of Defense and McConnell,” Elder said. “This is the exact degree that the Department of Defense wants.

“These are the kind of students they want. This is a huge, huge need. It keeps kids local.”