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Abstract of Oct. 12 Faculty Senate meeting

Daniel Larner, Faculty Senate president, called the 2009-2010 senate to order at 4:02 p.m. Senators accepted senate minutes of Sept. 28, 2009, as well as standing committee minutes.

President Larner reported on constituent concerns:

  • Carpooling spots are available; Chief Stegmeier’s safety arguments for the Stop signs on East Campus Way were reasonable;
  • Academic Technology Committee will bring forward information regarding impact of budget reductions on technology services;
  • Administrators continue to express interest in bringing topics for consideration to the Faculty Senate.

WWU President Bruce Shepard discussed the fiscal situation and reported on new members for the Board of Trustees. Shepard suggests our challenge is to find out what the public wants through direct discussions, and to strive to form a common front with other baccalaureates to engage legislative interest. Shepard confirmed that the best scenario for the second half of the biennium is to hold budget cuts to 2 percent.

Provost Catherine Riordan discussed the Capital Campaign, which is in planning stages. Riordan reported that a system design study by the Higher Education Coordinating Board will be completed by Oct. 19. The HEC Board envisions an increase of 8,000 students per year in Higher Education over a 10-year period, but a closer look shows this is a number the state would like. Senators asked for information on how many students leave to study out-of-state.

Marsha Riddle Buly, Legislative liaison, reported that the CFR is beginning its annual meetings and hopes to collaborate with administration, faculty and students in presenting a united front to the legislature on higher education issues. 

Ramon Rinonos-Diaz, Associated Students vice president for academics, reported that the AS Board resolved to ask students to study the impact of Tim Eyman's Initiative 1033. “Talks with the AS President” are scheduled for students for the next two weeks.

Steve Garfinkle, president of the United Faculty of Western Washington, reported that

  • the ratified faculty agreement was favorably received by the Board;
  • that the UFWS Web site is redesigned to allow blogging (also accessed from senate Web site);
  • the increase in union dues goes to pay for faculty release time, legislative lobbying and legal services.

Constituent concerns included:

  • Whether Human Resources allows private consultants on retirement funds for faculty; this concern forwarded to the UFWW;
  • University policy on e-mails about union issues: union practices are consistent with university policies;
  • Scott Pearce and Mary Lynne Derrington asked senators to have faculty responsible for academic publications in all areas to contact them.

Karen Copetas, director of the WWU Office of Admissions, presented data on the present freshman class ("our bread and butter"), enrollment demographics, the decline in applications from students with a 3.7 or higher GPA and other trends and challenges in enrollment management and enrollment planning.

Motion from the Executive Council: Senators passed an Executive Council motion to form a Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Awards. The committee of three to six faculty members will work with Human Resources to recommend additions or changes to the current menu of annual awards. Karen Stout has volunteered to chair.

The Executive Council will consider a recommendation for the creation of a Graduate Strategic Advisory Committee responsible for the development and application of a set of principles governing the expansion of graduate programs.

Senators adjourned at 5:47 p.m.

APPOINTMENTS AND ELECTIONS – Chuck Lambert, appointments officer

  • Academic Coordinating Commission: Andy Bach, Huxley College, replacing David Shull.
  • Vacancies: Student Publications Council: Two faculty members through 2010.
  • Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Awards: Three to six faculty members through 2010.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 12:58pm