[ Editor’s Note: After each Board of Trustees meeting, Western Today provides a recap of decisions and discussion. ]
Trustees discuss higher education and Legislature with Rep. Reuven Carlyle
Western’s Board of Trustees on Oct. 11 discussed with state Rep. Reuven Carlyle, chair of the state House of Representatives Finance Committee, some of the legislative challenges and opportunities facing higher education.
The last legislative session “could have gone a different way that could have been very damaging to higher education,” Carlyle said, adding that decisions late in the session led to strong funding support for public universities, including Western. “That allowed higher education to have a good year,” Carlyle said.
Carlyle also applauded Western’s leadership team, and in particular President Bruce Shepard, for their bold leadership in supporting House leaders in their efforts to address the funding challenges facing public higher education.
Carlyle also discussed some issues on the legislative horizon, including the effect on new technologies on higher education, performance measures, the proposed state Dream Act, and the need for better integration of the early learning, K-12 and higher education systems in the state.
The trustees thanked Carlyle for his leadership and continuing support for Western and higher education.
In other business, the trustees:
- Approved a consultant contract for a north campus utility upgrade.
- Unanimously approved a 4-percent annual salary increase for President Bruce Shepard, which will raise his current annual salary from $300,000 to $312,000. Trustees said that Shepard has been a strong and effective leader for Western, Also, trustees noted that this is the first time since Shepard was hired in 2008 that he has received a salary increase; that he was eligible and was contracted to receive an adjustment/bonus at the conclusion of his first year at Western but chose not to accept that adjustment because of the budget challenges facing the state and Western in 2009; and that Shepard’s salary increase is in line with the 4 percent total compensation adjustment recently provided to Western’s professional staff, who also had not had any compensation increases since 2008.
- Engaged in an interactive discussion with Provost Brent Carbajal on performance based funding and Western’s involvement with a state task force.
- Were presented with a report and then provided feedback on how Woodring College of Education is addressing critical K-12 challenges., The discussion included Woodring Dean Francisco Rios, Woodring Assistant Professor Maria Timmons Flores and Meagan Dawson, with Burlington-Edison Schools, discussing initiatives and partnerships under way.
- Heard a report on service learning in South Africa, with a presentation by Political Science Professor Vernon Johnson, Western student Ruta Nanivadekar and alumna Kara Kepple.
- Heard an update on WWU’s comprehensive campaign from Stephanie Bowers, vice president for University Advancement.
- Heard an overview of Western’s new nursing program by program Director Casey Shillam and Assistant Professor Jill Mount.
The trustees also recognized a number of people:
- Brian Burton, associate vice president for Academic Affairs
- Craig Dunn, interim dean, College of Business and Economics
- Susan Cahill, Outstanding Classified Staff Award Recipient
- David Davidson, Professional Staff Award of Excellence Recipient
- Steven Sulkin, Diversity Achievement Award Recipient
- David Willett, Philip E. Sharpe Jr., Community Engagement Award Recipient
- Multi-Purpose Field Team, Team Recognition Award Recipients
The dates for the next regular meeting of the Board of Trustees are Dec. 12 and 13.