Abstract of Oct. 26 Faculty Senate meeting

Daniel Larner, Western Washington University's Faculty Senate president, called the 2009-2010 Faculty Senate to order at 4:03 p.m. Senators accepted Faculty Senate minutes of Oct. 12, 2009, as well as the standing committee minutes.

President Larner reported on continued efforts to define issues and coordinate action around enrollment planning and graduate studies.

Larner reported that the Academic Coordinating Commission passed a motion to create an ad-hoc committee on academic policy to work with the WWU registrar to clarify catalog language for students.

Scott Pearce, senate representative to the University Planning and Resources Council, reported that the UPRC had passed motions to approve the new capital planning process and the operating budget timeline process. Both help increase transparency and provide more developed ways of moving the decision-making process forward.

WWU President Bruce Shepard reflected on the loss of colleague Michael Grimes and the immediate caring response of those connected, such as Brent Carbajal, Viva Barnes, Dan Boxberger and others. Shepard reported that it is not Western policy to censor student writing in The Western Front even if we might not agree with the point of view.

Shepard reported that he had met with a number of federal legislators, alums and friends of the university, and that the meetings reinforced for him the idea that we need a strategic focus and that we ought to take advantage of federal funding.

WWU Provost Catherine Riordan suggested that funding opportunities might exist in partnerships with community colleges. Program-based initiatives are also a way to respond to state needs and approach financial institutions. Riordan recommended bringing ideas forward to chairs, who can move them forward up the administrative chain.

Constituent Concerns:

  • The question of using Expedia or other sources as a less costly alternative to Bellingham Travel was raised. Senators were encouraged to use departmental corporate credit cards and learned that reimbursement will be immediate as long as the TA and other paperwork is done properly.
  • The sudden doubling of health insurance premiums and deductibles in the state of Washington appear to be a huge back-door salary cut. Constituents will bring the topic forward to Steve Garfinkle, president of the United Faculty of Western Washington.

After a short break, senators moved to a caucus at 4:47 p.m. At 5 p.m., senators returned to their regular meeting.

Senators heard Steve Swan, vice president for University Relations, present the current branding initiative to market Western’s “promise.” Senators commented extensively and agreed on the importance of being able to convey Western’s story of excellence to legislators; students past, present and future; parents and community members.

Senators adjourned at 5:43 p.m.

Appointments and elections: Chuck Lambert, appointments officer

Senators approved the following roster of appointments to various university committees:

  • UPRC (Appointed by Graduate Council members): Steve Sulkin, Shannon Point Marine Center
  • Faculty Awards Committee: Deb Currier (winter quarter),Theater; Babafemi Akinrinade, Fairhaven; Frances  Howard-Snyder, Philosophy; Trula Nicholas, Human Services; Ozan Sula, Economics; Joe Garcia, Bowman Chair
  • Student Publications Council: Kent Smith, Art; Perry Fizzano, Computer Science; Ee Lin Lee, Communication; Gail Coulter, Special Education (to be appointed Nov. 9)
  • LGBTConcerns Committee: Garth Amundson,  Art

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 12:05pm