Abstract of March 5, 2012, Faculty Senate meeting

Western Today staff

Karen Stout, Western Washington University Faculty Senate president, called the meeting of the 2011-2012 Faculty Senate to order at 4:05 p.m. Senators accepted senate minutes of Feb. 13, 2012, and the standing committee minutes.

Stout reported that 1) The final report on the review of administrators will be provided to Provost Catherine Riordan shortly; 2) The main critique of online teaching evaluations was the loss of connection once the process is removed from the classroom. Additional review of integration of new technology with our academic services on campus is planned; 3) Appreciation is expressed to Joe Myers, Associated Students legislative representative in Olympia, who also has received kudos from the Eastern Washington University faculty representative for his work on the university's behalf.

WWU President Bruce Shepard reported working the weekend with people in Admissions and Financial Aid to find solutions to the current budget stalemate, which may require some patience to get through. Stout mentioned that an email reporting the same had come from Dan Boxberger, the faculty legislative representative.

Provost Riordan reported that the searches for tenure-track faculty are going well. Riordan complimented the Arts & Crafts Fair put on by talented staff and encouraged faculty attendance.

Steve Garfinklel, United Faculty of Western Washington president, encouraged involvement on legislative issues (see Western Advocates) and reported that collective bargaining is proceeding well.

Fabiola Arvizu, Associated Students vice president for academics, reported that the AS is considering a 5-percent increase of the alternative transportation fee, which currently costs students $25 annually.

Report on Elimination and Merger Policy (http://www.acadweb.wwu.edu/Senate): Spencer Anthony-Cahill, Senate Vice President, reported on the Executive subcommittee work on the policy that supports the principles of open and transparent decision making subject to early scrutiny the faculty. Anthony-Cahill asked 1) are the issues adapted from policies at several other public universities were appropriate to Western; 2) are faculty at Western willing to commit to the culture change that would involve decision-making and with faculty-developed criteria and complete and accurate data. Such a policy would provide early faculty collaboration with administration and deans to shine a parallel light on successful programs that could profit from further enhancement as well as on those which might be undervalued or in need of improvement. Senators commented that 1) An ideal policy could incorporate input from employers to create new state of the art programs; 2) A healthy policy would provide continuous assessment in a feedback loop; 3) Criteria proposed by one university such as Indiana State could also be merged with the model from another such as Humboldt State; 4) The strength of faculty developed criteria would provide a horizontal model of assessment useful to the deans and administration. Anthony-Cahill will announce plans for further development of the policy.

MOTION from Senate Executive: Code of Faculty Ethics, Section 7 and 8. In a unanimous second vote, senators approved Sections 7 and 8 of the Code of Faculty Ethics (Appendix 5 to the Faculty Handbook).

Constituent Concerns: Anthony-Cahill reported that Sandra Alfers and Babafemi Akinrinade will work with him on reviewing the Faculty Handbook to harmonize with the collective bargaining agreement under negotiation at present.

Senators adjourned at 5:39 pm without caucus.

Appointments and Elections: Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, 2011-12 Officer: Auerbach asked faculty to encourage colleagues to complete Senate nominating petitions. Candidates will be sought to fill the preliminary list of 2012-2014 faculty vacancies on committees once the Senate elections were completed. Vacancies on the 2012-14 Faculty Senate: Area A-2; Area B-2 (Candidate: Kathleen Saunders, Anthropology) Area C-2 (Candidates: Sheila Webb, Journalism, Sandra Alfers, M&CL); Area D – 2, Area E – 2, Area G -1; Area H -2; Libraries – 1. In addition, one replacement for Area A, 1-year term (Candidate: Jackie Caplan-Auerbach) 1 replacement for Area C (1 year term).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 3:23pm