Tuesday, May 9,
1.0 Call to Order
2.0 Call of the Roll:
There were three substitutions: Maureen
Dolan for Chehallis Strapp, Kevin Helppie for Judy Bullington, and
Mark Perlman for Dean Bethea. The following senators were
absent: Stephanie Tunison, Laura Riolli-Saltzman, Bryan Dutton
(who was scheduled to substitute for Irja Galvan), Tina Fuchs,
Meredith Brodsky, and Brian Bonnlander.
3.0. Corrections to and approval of the minutes from the previous
senate meeting/Agenda Adjustments. Minutes approved. There
were no agenda adjustments.
4.0. Reports of the Presidents
4.1 Senate President
Joel welcomed new senators and reminded them to be present for
the vote regarding Executive Committee members, two positions of
which are "non-officer." Joel also thanked faculty input for the OUS
Scholars Network and said there were close to thirty Western
faculty participants. He solicited additional input for non-Western-
affiliated IRB panel members. He is still collecting on-line routing
4.2 President of Western Oregon University
President Youngblood said there was no report.
4.3 Student Body President
Obie Garza summarized Diversity Month activities - including the
new Diversity Achievement Awards which went to Kim Jensen and
Leo Rasca-Hidalgo. He also mentioned the recent student
Leadership Awards and his hope that the Chican@ studies minor
would be resolved. He announced the new student president's
platform includes continuing diversity issues, developing a women's
center, and improving the weight-training facilities.
5.0 Consideration of Old Business
5.1 Chican@ studies minor. Please consider handouts provided
by the Division of Social Sciences regarding their position on the
minor. Also, a secondary handout that summarizes all courses for
the minor was provided at the meeting. The minor includes a 12-credit
classes with "Chican@" in the title plus a more broad choice of
electives (students would choose 12 credits from electives).
I will attempt to briefly summarize major points of discussion as
this portion of the meeting lasted approximately 90 minutes. At some
during this period, one meeting extension was approved.
Prior to this meeting, the multi-disciplinary "Chican@ studies"
minor was unanimously passed by Education and Humanities.
Social Science, however, wanted to broaden the minor name to
"Chican@/Latin@ studies" in order to reflect their comparative and
more broad philosophy of evaluating and discussing groups of
people. It was further argued that breadth was more suited to (a)
the campus ideals; (b) the general issue of diversity; and (c)
attracting and including more students in the program.
Roshani presented a compromise that Social Science, the
Curriculum Committee, and the Registrar decided upon at the prior
week's Curriculum Committee meeting: to allow a student to "fill
in" either "Chican@" or "Chican@/Latin@" at graduation; they
could, within the context of the broad elective component of the
minor, tailor coursework to either Chican@ or broad
Chican@/Latin@ studies. Students involved in the minor had
tentatively agreed to this compromise, albeit only last-minute.
Initial criticism to this compromise came from visiting students and
faculty and eventually included more faculty senate and
administration discussion. Statements included that this minor, as
originally titled, reflected the minority student population in the
region and on campus and thus should remain "Chican@" because
of identity and heritage issues. Second, it was felt that the
"Chican@" was at the root of every core course within the minor
and altering the name on the basis of elective offerings may
mislead students pursuing the minor. Third, it was felt that, while
the minor core courses were specific, the ideals of breadth,
diversity, and cultural context were maintained by the electives -
and thus did not violate campus philosophy.
Rebuttle arguments came primarily from Social Sciences faculty
and involved, again, comparative approaches and
what it means to be a "multidisciplinary minor." The role/duty of
Faculty Senate in "mandating" this name/program was also
questioned. It was also suggested that some faculty may only
teach elective courses for the minor if the Chican@/Latin@
designation was used because of concerns that minor students
would expect otherwise broad courses to be taught more
specifically (either that or they would be less motivated/interested
in broad issues). Thus, the issue of academic freedom was
broached. Several faculty said this was illogical because the point
of the electives was to add breadth. Several faculty also shared
experiences with teaching or developing broad elective courses for
A move to approve the original Chican@ title was made. The
motion passed by 13 to 5. It was next moved to allow Social
Science faculty to reconsider keeping their courses in the minor.
This was unanimously passed. Social Science has one week to
consider pulling out certain courses from the new Chican@ minor.
Student guests thanked the senate for their decision and asked
that Social Science please keep their broad courses in the existing
6.0 New Business.
Carl distributed a summary of a proposal that WOU join Workers'
Rights Association. This item should be discussed with your
division. It will appear as old business at the next senate meeting.
7.0 Reports of the Interinstitutional Faculty Senators:
Bob Turner briefly summarized the recent IFS meeting: key points
included the upcoming Sizemore and McIntyre initiatives and the
aforementioned Scholars' Network.
8.0 Reports of the Faculty Senate Sub-Committees
No substantial reports were given.
The meeting was adjourned.