Minutes 27 October 2009

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In attendance:
Scott Beaver, Dean Braa, Sue Dauer, E. Michelle Pardew (for Cheryl Davis), David Doellinger, Bryan Dutton, Camila Gabaldon, Mark Girod, Bob Hautala, Sandy Hedgepath, Solveig Holmquist, Henry Hughes, Elaina Jamieson, Katherine Schmidt, Carl Schroder, Gay Timken, Jason Waite, John Leadley (for Zenon Zygmont)
Ex-Oficio: Mark Weiss (for John Minahan), Dave MacDonald (for John Minahan), Kent Neely


Katherine Schmidt, Faculty Senate

  • President Schmidt reminded the senate of the new curriculum deadline: 12 January 2010

  • On November 24, we will get an update from Tom Bergeron on the LACC review committee, as well as projection for the year.

  • A letter of thanks has been sent to Peter Callero for his PEBB service.

  • Practical tip: Introduce your division to the portal and to the online curriculum proposal submission process

  • The executive committee has collaborated with the committee on committees to form a roll out plan for our committee charge review process this year. Each committee will submit a memo to the executive committee when they complete their new charges. These will subsequently be voted on by the Senate.

  • On November 6, the executive committee will be meeting with the Curriculum and Graduate committees.

John Minahan, Western Oregon University (document B)
Dave MacDonald and Mark Weiss gave this report on behalf of the president.

  • Dave Macdonald reported on enrollment:

  • The state has more students going to college than ever:

  • OUS is expecting 6% system-wide increase, though one campus will be below that number.

  • Community colleges are reporting a 15-20% increase

  • We are in the 3rd year in a row of record enrollments; only a few other institutions can make this claim (OSU, PSU).

  • As of Monday (10/26/09) enrollment was 5690; this morning it was 5716.

  • Graduate enrollment is up 20%, freshman enrollment is up 5% and sophomore enrollment is up 10%.

  • The impact of a larger sophomore class is increasing numbers in 200-level classes, which puts pressure on the departments.

  • Latino growth is 15%. This group is key to continued growth.

  • The increase in Latino students was not at the expense of other minority groups - our class is more diverse than last year and we were already the most diverse OUS campus. This can be attributed at least somewhat to the presence of faculty. When visiting the campus, prospective students see faculty, not just staff. Unlike other campuses, our preview days have faculty, which is mentioned all of the time by students who choose to come.

  • Our international student numbers are steady, despite terrible global economy.

  • Looking forward we need to continue to move retention up, continue to grow Latino students and other underserved populations, increase graduate student numbers, increase the diversity of our international students.

  • Overall we anticipate 4-6% growth for next year.

  • Challenges: Budget - need to be mindful, families are having a hard time paying for college. The opportunity grant is declining and the perception is being built that college is more expensive. We need to think about how we move forward with the Tuition promise - Can we sustain it? We need to be aware of the enrollment plans of other institutions and we need to maintain momentum.

  • Gay Timken asked how the administration plans to deal with faculty and classroom needs with increasing numbers, since we are already quite tight.

  • Dave MacDonald responded that the Provost and Deans will be looking at this and that they are already keeping enrollment numbers lower than they possibly could go, so that we can have time to adjust. Mark Weiss added that we are opening a new classroom building.

  • Mark Weiss reported on the financial situation

  • Last year OUS and WOU were asked to come up with plans for reduction up to 30% (about a 6 million dollar decrease). The back of the handout he gave (posted on senate site) sums up appropriation levels, last year and this. Fortunately 30% cut did not occur we received approximately and 11% reduction.

  • During 2009, the economy worsened and we received 5% cuts for over the biennium.

  • This year the 18.2 million we are initially budgeted is supplemented in a large degree by the federal recovery funds without those funds, the cut would have been deeper. Those funds are available this biennium, our understanding is that they will go away next biennium. To address the cuts, universities have responded differently (staff cuts, etc.).

  • The report he handed out will be the one which we report on for the rest of the year.

  • Ending last year we had a fund balance of about $6.1 million, which is about 13% of our budget. Our fiscal goal is to have a fund balance of 10-20%, with a goal of about 15%. Where we ended was not a bad place, considering that state funds were reduced in the last 6 months of the year. Other institutions need to keep a fund balance of 5-10%. Because of the tuition promise we need to have a higher balance, since we can only raise tuition for approximately ¼ of our students, while the other schools can raise it for everyone.

  • This year they are preliminarily projecting a small surplus of $279,000. There are many risks that will likely curtail that surplus and make it a deficit. The current plan will get us to a 13.4% fund balance at the end of the year.

  • The increase in salary expenditures is based on new faculty in both colleges and new staff positions. The staff positions existed in the past and we want to show that we feel it is important to reinvest in ourselves.

  • The top ½ of sheet is education and general funds. The center is the auxiliary enterprises (Housing and dining, health center, bookstore, etc.). The only significant change in those operations is the $20 million in debt for our learning/living center.

  • Last sections is designated operations (Parking, telecomm, DEP, intensive English program, etc.).

  • The back of the page lists risks that may occur, including if the tax measures are voted down:

  • WOU has been asked by OUS how they would respond to a worsening Oregon economy; their response: 1/3 from fund balances, 1/3 from services and supplies, and 1/3 through a furlough program for non-union contract employees.

  • The state is committed to maintain 2005-2006 funding levels to keep federal funds, but some states have asked for exceptions, so this may not be a given.

  • We've been asked to identify reserve balances (all) including auxiliary fund balances. At WOU, this includes money that we have put away to pay off the $20 million debt for the live/learn center. These could be "swept" by the state.

  • If any OUS institutions require additional help, it will likely come at the expense of the others.

  • Next year, we anticipate the federal funds that have filled a gap for us to be gone.

  • Enrollment - If we need to go away from the tuition promise, it could have an impact on enrollment.

  • Value of the PERS trust fund has been hugely reduced and there are likely to be huge increases in the contributions in the next years, (legal limit is 6% per year) and he has been told to expect that.

  • Expectation by all of us that salary increases will occur - need to find funds for this.

  • There was considerable concern over the idea that money that has been designated (for the building) could be taken. Since it has not been spent, it is seen by the state as available.

Joe Hutchinson, Staff Senate
Not present
Evan Sorce, ASWOU
Not present
Kent Neely, Provosts' Council
No report today to make time for an expanded president's report.


Credit by Exam Policy, Klay Kruzcek of ARC (document C)

  • Under the current credit by exam policy, students can challenge a course by taking an exam, and, if the department feels they have successfully passed, they can get credit for that course. A student can not get credit by exam for a course that has a lower number than a class that they have taken.

  • In math, this is an issue, because it is possible for students to take a class, such as calculus in high school, without getting AP or college credit. If they then come to WOU and enroll in calculus 4, that limits the number of other math credits that are available for them to take, making it hard to complete the degree with sufficient credits.

  • The ARC is recommending that the wording "except when specifically allowed by that department" be added to the policy to provide some flexibility and discretion on the part of departments. This proposal would also clean up the language in the catalog.

  • John Leadley asked for clarification that the only current option for these students is to challenge the lower division courses before starting in their math program at WOU. This was confirmed.

Academic Excellence Showcase Endorsement, Bryan Dutton (document D)

  • Bryan Dutton came on behalf of the showcase planning committee to ask the senate for an endorsement of the Showcase, which is held in the spring and sponsored by Phi Kappa Phi and PURE. The senate has done this in previous years, usually by having the executive committee draft a letter to campus in support of the showcase, which is then distributed to campus.

  • Dean Braa added that [the showcase] is a good thing.

Enrollment Numbers, Associate Provost David McDonald (document E)
This was presented as part of the President's report.



New Residence Hall, Part I: Sustainability, Tina Fuchs (document F)

  • Tina Fuchs gave the first part of a two part report on the new sustainable live/learn residence hall/classroom building being constructed on campus. This part of the presentation focused on the sustainability aspects of the new building. She will focus on the live/learn aspects next time.

  • The new building is being built in the Grove, which will make much of this space more useful for students (currently it is to wet to use for much of the year). They did have to cut down trees to do this, but those trees, as well as some from near the APSC building will be re-used in the project (approximately 31 tables, also wall panels and a grand staircase).

  • They are hoping to design a building that will make students more thoughtful about how they use energy in their rooms. Green qualities are included in all aspects of the construction of building. They are building using the LEED standards, with a goal of reaching platinum status for this building.

  • The building will have low flow faucets, energy efficient appliances, dual flush toilets, waterless urinals and use environmentally friendly cleaning products. There will be a 35,000 gallon cement tank to collect runoff from roof and sidewalks which will have a system to put the "cleaner" collected water into the system to flush toilets. She anticipates that the tank will be pretty full through fall and winter months.

  • The building is oriented in the best way to collect sunlight from the west.

  • Each room will have a dual plug system, which includes some plugs that can be turned off (for plugging in cell phone chargers, etc.) when not actively being used. Rooms will also have light sensors to automatically turn on and off lights.

  • The contractor for this building is known for their work on LEED buildings. They are very organized and do a good job of managing waste. They are also using mostly local and regional material (approximately 90%) from within 500 miles of the site.

  • During construction all of the ducts will be sealed to keep hazardous materials from going into the system before the building is open. They are also using low VOC materials.

  • Educational messages and plaques will be throughout the building, including monitors that will be set up so students know how much energy is being used in different parts of the building at any time. Among these will be a large LCD in lobby (which will hopefully inspire competition to be green).

  • Our target is 54 LEED points for platinum (the platinum range is 52-69 points). If we do this, we would be the largest residence hall to achieve platinum. Smaller buildings have done it, including one 10 bed hall at Duke, but none of this size.

4:38 pm

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This page contains a single entry by Camila published on November 5, 2009 11:41 AM.

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